National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

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RMT
National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (logo).png
Full name National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers
Founded 1990
Members 82, 278[1]
Affiliation TUC, ICTU, STUC, ITF, WFTU TUCG, NSSN, TUSC
Key people Mick Cash, General Secretary
Sean Hoyle, President[2]
Office location London, England
Country United Kingdom
Website Rmt.org.uk

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (commonly known as the RMT) is a British trade union covering the transport sector.

The RMT is one of Britain's fastest growing trade unions. The RMT membership rose under and following the leadership of Bob Crow, with membership increasing from 57,000 in 2002[3] to over 80,000 members in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Crown Dependencies today.[1][4]

History[edit]

The RMT was formed in 1990 through a merger of the National Union of Railwaymen (NUR) and the National Union of Seamen (NUS) to create a single transport industry trade union.

Political activity[edit]

The predecessor unions to the National Union of Railwaymen and the National Union of Seamen were founding members of the original Labour Representation Committee[5] and after its creation the RMT became a prominent voice on the left of the Labour Party. In 2003 some Scottish branches of the RMT voted to donate some of their funds to the Scottish Socialist Party in protest against the policies of Tony Blair and New Labour, such as not renationalising the railways.[5] This led the Labour Party to disaffiliate from the union in early 2004 for breaching Party rules.[5]

The RMT announced in 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.[6] The RMT then became a founding member of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, a left wing political party which has contested the 2010 and 2015 general elections.

RMT is in favour of the UK's withdrawal from the European Union in the 2016 referendum on the subject. However, Sean Hoyle, Peter Pinkney, Paul McDonnell and John Reid from RMT have signed a letter in The Guardian newspaper, which opposes the Electoral Commission choosing Leave.EU, Vote Leave or Grassroots Out as the official group advocating for British withdrawal in the referendum, saying that:

We call on the commission not to give taxpayers' money to the Tory and Ukip-dominated Vote Leave, Leave.EU or Grassroots Out campaigns, or any amalgam of them ... We believe there are millions of trade unionists, young people, anti-austerity campaigners and working-class voters, whose opposition to the big business-dominated EU would not be represented by these organisations. ... We call on the Electoral Commission to recognise that a significant proportion of those who will vote against the EU do so because they support basic socialist policies of workers' rights, public ownership, and opposition to austerity and racism.[7]

London Underground[edit]

The RMT represents the majority of London Underground staff, as well as many other workers in the London public transport network. The RMT has had a number of disputes with Transport for London and private sector contractors Metronet and Tube Lines [8][9] over pay, safety, pensions and job security on the Underground. These disputes have often resulted in industrial action, leading to periods of travel disruption in the capital over the last decade.[10][11][12][13]

Affiliations[edit]

The RMT is affiliated to a number of political organisations and trade union confederations. In the United Kingdom and Ireland the RMT is affiliated with the TUC, the Scottish Trades Union Congress, the Wales Trades Union Congress[14] and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.[15] Internationally the RMT is affiliated to the European Transport Workers Federation and the International Transport Workers Federation,[14] as well as the World Federation of Trade Unions.[16]

Politically the RMT is affiliated with the left wing political party the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition,[17] which it co-founded and encourages members to participate in.[18] The RMT is also affiliated to the Labour Representation Committee,[19] a pressure group which aims to promote traditional socialist principles within the Labour Party. Some local branches of the RMT, such as Grimsby, are affiliated to their local Constituency Labour Party. In 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.[20]

RMT Credit Union[edit]

RMT Credit Union Limited is a savings and loans co-operative established by the trade union for its members in 2004.[21] It is a member of UKCreditUnions Limited, a national trade association for credit unions, steering groups and support organisations.[22] The credit union is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the PRA. Ultimately, like the banks and building societies, members' savings are protected against business failure by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.[23]

Leadership[edit]

General Secretaries[edit]

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

Senior Assistant General Secretaries[edit]

  • 1994-2002: Vernon Hince
  • 2002-2014: Mick Cash
  • 2014– : Steve Hedley

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Form AR21: Annual return for trade unions" (PDF). Gov.UK. Archived from the original (PDF document) on 30 September 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2016 – via the Wayback Machine. 
  2. ^ "Structure". Rmt.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  3. ^ Mustafer, Shanaz (25 January 2012). "Trade unions: Not dead yet". BBC News Online. Retrieved 6 February 2016. 
  4. ^ "About us". Rmt.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  5. ^ a b c "BBC NEWS - UK - Scotland - Rail union breaks with Labour". News.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  6. ^ "Exclusive: Tommy Sheridan to stand for Euro elections". Daily Record. 2009-03-10. Retrieved 2014-03-13. 
  7. ^ "Don’t give taxpayer’s money to Tory and Ukip Leave groups". The Guardian. 21 February 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2016. 
  8. ^ Train drivers' union ASLEF represents London Underground train drivers, and has co-ordinated disputes with the RMT
  9. ^ "England | Second Tube strike hits London". BBC News. 2002-10-02. Retrieved 2014-03-13. 
  10. ^ "Tube strike causes travel chaos". BBC News. 2007-09-04. Retrieved 2014-03-13. 
  11. ^ McNulty, Phil (10 June 2009). "England 6-0 Andorra". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  12. ^ Ashton, Emily (11 June 2009). "Mayor 'provoked Tube strike'". London: The Independent. Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  13. ^ "Bob Crow on RMT 48-Hour London Underground Strike". RMT. 10 June 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2009. 
  14. ^ a b "Political". Rmt.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  15. ^ "Affiliated Unions & Trades Councils » About Congress » Congress - Irish Congress of Trade Unions". Irish Congress of Trade Unions. 
  16. ^ "Britain: WFTU Transport affiliates hold European meeting hosted by RMT". WFTU. 
  17. ^ "Rmt Conference Unanimously Votes To Continue Support For Tusc". Tusc.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  18. ^ "RMT union conference sees big step forward for TUSC". Tusc.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  19. ^ "LRC Affiliates". L-r-c.org.uk. Labour Representation Committee. Retrieved 6 February 2016. 
  20. ^ "RMT union denounces Western support for Kiev – supports antifascist resistance - Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine". Ukraineantifascistsolidarity.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  21. ^ RMT Credit Union National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (retrieved 21 February 2015)
  22. ^ "Credit Unions in London". Ukcu.coop. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  23. ^ "A guide for credit unions" (PDF). FSCS.org.uk. Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Archived from the original (PDF document) on 25 September 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2016 – via the Wayback Machine. 

External links[edit]