RMT AGM 2010 - Report to the London Transport Regional Council and Branches

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Report by Ross Marshall, Neasden Branch

Delegates to the AGM were as follows

Steve Datta Central Line West Branch
Jim Harding H+C Branch
Martin Keown LU Fleet Branch
Andy Littlechild LU Engineering Branch
Ash Malik Stratford no.1 Branch
Brian Munro Bakerloo Branch
Pat O’Brien Camden 3 Branch
Glenroy Watson Finsbury Park Branch
Bob Law Jubilee South and East London Line Branch
Ross Marshall Neasden Branch

Aberdeen, known as the Granite City played host to the 2010 AGM with the world famous music hall being the venue

After a brutal start in the Annual football match in which Membership officer Pascal broke his leg (Best wishes to him) it was on to the main business on the Sunday with an electrifying speech by Alex Gordon in his first AGM as president, which set the week up on a high note.

Highlights Of the Motions and Debates

Democracy in the union was at the heart of a motion from the station grades conference, asking for a clearer and better organisation and work from the E.C when motions are passed. Despites some objections this motion was passed.

Members of the bus workers conference spoke on problems with the condition of equipment and state of buses in the industry and how a “profit driven agenda” had impacted on safety and customer service

The trains’ grades conference moved a motion on some of the appalling undermining that ASLEF had been doing , especially in relation to keeping the roles of the guard, and the issue of Aslef undermining the role of the guard on Mersey rail

The young members sent up motion on climate change and the brave struggle by Vestas workers last year on the Isle of Wight, a motion that was very well received, with the General Secretary laying into the last Labour government for their total inaction.

From the Signalling grades conference Peter Pinkney moved a motion on the disgraceful attacks that are happen to his grades, especially reps. Several LUL delegates stood to support as this victimisation was close to what was going on, on LUL.

Glenroy Watson, on behalf of the Black and Ethnic Minority Members’ conference, gave a passionate speech on the issues facing the people of Haiti and their struggle not only against the natural powers, but against the imperialist and racist attacks from western Powers.

Mike Sargent for Cinque Ports branch moved a powerful motion on building solidarity with Greek workers, and explained how, in order for the Greek government to get the bailout from the eurozone, they had to sell workers’ rights and bargaining down the river. Many people rose to support and it ended with a great speech from the General Secretary.

One of the more controversial motions of the week that got a heavy and passionate debate was from Bakerloo branch, on setting up a campaign against rest day working and overtime. Brian Munro, in moving the motion spoke of saving jobs by banning overtime and the role of time off in making people’s lives better off. Many people rose to support but also many people rose to argue that some people needed overtime because of poor rates of pay and the need for extra cash. When it came to the vote, 11 voted against but the rest for and therefore the motion was carried.

Paul Burton form Croydon no.1 moved a motion from his branch on producing a better strategy to train branch officials which was carried.

Another controversial motion was from the OILC (offshore branch) on union investment. The mover argued that by the union investing in BP and Shell, it brings the union into conflict with these companies as we organise in them. It had asked that we sold shares. However many people got up to oppose this as we had 1000s of shares and that we would be selling at a small price, and that we should at least recuperate what we paid out for them. It was also noted that having just one share entitled us to go to the AGM of these companies and lobby, something that people said should be looked into. In the end the motion fell.

Two very relevant motions, moved by Chester branch, spoke on improving branch attendance and participation. The first which was passed with 2 against mandates Branch secretaries to write a yearly report to the officer on branch attendees and meetings that were not quorate, with the second motion encouraging head office to provide more resources and encouragement for people to attend branches. This was passed unanimously. People from all areas spoke of the need to revitalise the branch structure and get more people to branches in order to keep fighting as a union.

One of the most passionate motions was on the dire situation with our Jarvis colleagues and the appalling way that network rail and the government had treated them. Bill Rawclife who stood against Ed Milband on a Jarvis ticket was praised for his work.


There were three appeals form the LT area.

Stratford NO.1 Branch appealed against the decision not to award funding for the Candidate for the Camberwell and Peckham Constituency Jill Mountford. This appeal was won.

Central Line West appealed against the decision not to set up a bus workers branch. This appeal was lost.

The LTRC appealed against the decision not to grant the region a second Regional Organiser. This appeal was lost.


Katalin Mathe and Istvan Gasco from VDszsz Transport Workers Union of Hungary
Leif Sande from Energy and Oil Union of Norway
Manuel Cruz from Railway Workers Union of Portugal

John Samuelsen, General Secretary of Local 100TWU, the Transport Workers Union of New York gave a stunning Crow-like speech on the serious issues that face the membership and on international solidarity which was a crowd pleaser.

John McDonnell convener of the RMT group of MPs received a standing ovation for his speech, attacking the anti-trade union laws and the recent court cases. He spoke about how he been picked out of the hat number 1 for the Private Members Bill and how he will now push a bill for a fairer legal playing ground for strikes and balloting procedures.

Alongside the AGM was the young member’s course which was well attended including delegates from our own region. The young member’s award this year went to Adrian Rowe from Neasden Branch who gave a barnstorming speech which is well worth logging onto the union’s website to watch.

The 2010 AGM was a great success with great debate and activity. However the finest moment came with the General Secretary’s dinner, Bob Crow and Alex Gordon were escorted into the dinner by a piper, both of them wearing full kilt. Quite a sight!!!!