National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

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National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (logo).png
Full name National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers
Members 80,000
Country United Kingdom
Key people Bob Crow (deceased), general secretary
Office location London, England

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) is a British trade union for transport workers.

The post of General Secretary of the RMT is vacant following the sudden death of Bob Crow in March 2014. It is one of Britain's fastest growing trade unions, increasing its membership by more than a third in the first five years of Crow's leadership,[1] and it has more than 80,000 members.


It was formed by a merger of the National Union of Railwaymen (NUR) and the National Union of Seamen (NUS).

Predecessors of the RMT were among the unions which set up the Labour Representation Committee in 1900. In 2003, some Scottish branches of the RMT, affiliated to the Scottish Trades Union Congress, voted to donate some of their funds to the Scottish Socialist Party. This led the Labour Party to disaffiliate the union in early 2004. In Wales some branches supported Forward Wales, led by the former Labour Welsh Assembly member John Marek. The RMT is affiliated to the Left pressure group the Labour Representation Committee (LRC),[2] which is named after the original LRC of 1900, and works to restore socialist principles within the Labour Party. Some local branches of the RMT, such as Grimsby, are still affiliated to their local Constituency Labour Party (CLP).

The RMT announced in March 2009 that it would be standing a slate of candidates in the 2009 European Parliament elections under the banner of No to EU – Yes to Democracy, a broad left-wing alter-globalisation coalition which aims to offer an alternative to the "anti-foreigner" and pro-business policies of the UK Independence Party.[3]

The RMT has applied for membership in the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) in 2013.

In June 2014, the RMT joined the Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine (SARU) campaign in support of the Communist Party of Ukraine and the Donbass People's Militia against the EU and NATO-backed Ukrainian government.[4]

General Secretaries[edit]

RMT members protest at the 2011 anti-cuts protest in London

London Underground[edit]

The RMT in recent years are best known to the British public through media exposure for their on-going clashes with London Underground and its privatised contractors Metronet and Tubelines.[5] In the early 21st century, clashes leading to industrial action costing London business millions of pounds per day[6] and causing travel disruptions[7] have included concerns over pay, safety, pensions and job security. In 2009, one such strike coincided with an England international match.[8] RMT leader Bob Crow claimed that either the transport commissioner or the Mayor of London blocked an agreement with the RMT on the eve of the strike only 35 minutes after LU management had agreed to it.[9][10] On 15 June 2011 the RMT announced a strike would begin on 19 June 2011, disrupting the Wimbledon Championships.[11]

On 24 June 2011, the strikes were cancelled after London Underground reinstated the Tube driver at the centre of the dispute.[12]

2014 strikes[edit]

Further strikes over TfL's plans to close Underground ticket offices took place in February 2014[13] and April/May 2014.[14]


  1. ^ Bob Crow: workers' friend?
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Exclusive: Tommy Sheridan to stand for Euro elections". Daily Record. 2009-03-10. Retrieved 2014-03-13. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Train drivers' union ASLEF represents London Underground train drivers, and has co-ordinated disputes with the RMT
  6. ^ "England | Second Tube strike hits London". BBC News. 2002-10-02. Retrieved 2014-03-13. 
  7. ^ "Tube strike causes travel chaos". BBC News. 2007-09-04. Retrieved 2014-03-13. 
  8. ^ McNulty, Phil (10 June 2009). "England 6-0 Andorra". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  9. ^ Ashton, Emily (11 June 2009). "Mayor 'provoked Tube strike'". London: The Independent. Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  10. ^ "Bob Crow on RMT 48-Hour London Underground Strike". RMT. 10 June 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2009. 
  11. ^ "Tube strikes on as talks break down"[dead link]
  12. ^ "Tube strikes cancelled as London Underground reinstates unfairly sacked driver | Global Rail News". Retrieved 2014-03-13. 
  13. ^ Telegraph,
  14. ^ BBC News,

External links[edit]