Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) general secretary Bob Crow was an inspirational union leader and socialist whose death is tragic news to all of us. Our thoughts are with Bob’s family at this sad time.
We pay tribute to a militant trade union leader who has inspired a whole generation of workers by winning industrial disputes and showing that it is possible to fight back. The fierce commitment to improving the pay and conditions of its members, saw RMT membership double under his leadership. The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) which he set up in 2006 and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in which he played a key role is another part of his legacy. He represented the best of the labour movement but wanted to create a new voice for the working class. In 2014 he was due to stand in the European elections on the platform of “NO to EU. Yes to Workers Rights” and had stood in London as a candidate for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition – AGAINST THE CUTS to which he and the RMT were committed. He was a tenacious trade union leader and socialist, spearheading the fight for a socialist alternative to cuts, austerity and privatisation. We will miss him.
TUSC national chair Dave Nellist said: “Bob Crow was an inspirational union leader who tenaciously defended his members’ jobs, pay and conditions – head and shoulders above most other union leaders.
“Bob also recognised, well before most other union leaders, that the overlapping austerity agenda of the big parties meant working people have to start again and build anew.
“His union, as the Society of Railway Servants, founded the Labour Party 114 years ago and for the last 5 years in particular we had worked together to start to create a new voice for workers rooted in the organisations and communities of working class people.
“As part of his legacy on May 22nd, TUSC (the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) will stand the largest number of left of Labour candidates seen in this country for over 60 years.
“Our sadness is that Bob won’t be with us on that day, and inspiring hundreds of TUSC candidates around the country.
“In his union, and in the new working class politics he championed, he will never be forgotten