Black Lives Matter

Posted in Tubeworker's blog on Thu, 04/06/2020 - 18:36,
Gloved hands holding a sign reading "Black Lives Matter"

Tubeworker stands in solidarity with the global movement against police brutality and white supremacy. We think the resolution passed by RMT's Bakerloo branch on this issue is a good start in terms of discussing and organising action around these issues within our unions; why not propose something similar in your own union branch?

We will also be using our monthly meeting, on 18 June at 16:00, to host a discussion on these issues, led by Glen Hart, chair of the RMT's Black and Ethnic Minority Members' Advisory Committee. See the Facebook event here, and log in via Zoom here.

We support the recent and ongoing protests in London. We understand that some workmates have concerns about large demonstrations at a time when virus transmission is still a risk, and welcome creative thinking about ways to take action whilst maintaining social distancing. But we also defend the right to protest, and think it's important to remember that it's failures of government policy - lack of adequate PPE, failure to provide proper sickness/isolation pay for all workers, slowness to take action on the spread of the virus in the care sector, and pushing workers such as school workers back to work before it's safe - that are to blame for the high death toll, not anti-racist protests.


This branch notes the wave of protests, across the USA and internationally, against police brutality and racism, in response to the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer.

This branch stands in solidarity with those protests. Police brutality is not an "American" problem, but something experienced across the world, including in Britain, where many people, predominantly black, have died in police custody.

We particularly salute the actions of our fellow transport workers in Minneapolis, in the Amalgamated Transport Union Local 1005, and in New York, in Transport Workers Union Local 100, who have refused to drive buses for arrestee transport.

We stand in solidarity with our BEM members against the racism they face in society, including from discriminatory policing. We believe police brutality against people of colour is linked to the wider ideology of white supremacy.

We acknowledge the legacy of transport workers' struggles against racism in this country, such as the 1963 Bristol bus boycott in response to a "colour bar" on the hiring of black workers. We note that the role of the official trade unions in these struggles has not always been an honourable one.

From experiences such as print workers' strikes in Warrington (1983) and Wapping (1986), the Battle of Orgreave (1984), and many others, we know that police brutality will be wielded against the labour movement when our struggles threaten the power of capital and the state.

This branch resolves to:

  • Publicise this motion via branch social media, and ask that it be posted on RMT London Calling
  • Write to ATU Local 1005 and TWU Local 100 with the text of this motion, and to invite representatives to attend a future branch meeting
  • Request that the national union make a statement in solidarity with protests against police brutality and racism
  • Work with our BEM Members Advisory Committee to develop and support struggles for racial justice and equality in the workplace and wider society, and to ensure liberation and equality are at the heart of our union's organising
  • Support efforts to mobilise RMT members to safely participate in ongoing protests
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