Democratise our unions!

Submitted by AWL on 2 August, 2013 - 3:12

The RMT is currently conducting a root-and-branch review of its internal structures. This means RMT members have a chance to say how they think their union should be organised.

Off The Rails has a charter called “The Fantasy Union of Rail and Transport Workers”, which sets out our ideal vision for how unions should operate. The FURTW would be a union led from the workplace up, where members were engaged in deciding strategy and industrial action were controlled by those involved in them. It would also be an industrial union.

You can read the charter here. The RMT’s review is a chance to make the case for those principles in one of the main rail unions.

The Central Line East branch of the RMT has already agreed a submission (right) to the internal review along those lines.

What do you think? If you agree, why not propose similar text in your RMT branch?


We believe that:
- the division between General Grades and Shipping & Offshore is obsolete and should be scrapped
- the national executive should be made up of representatives of constituencies that are coherent and roughly the same size
- there should be more structural accountability for union officials and representatives, at all levels, from workplace and branch to Company/Functional Council to the national executive
- reps should be elected by the members they represent
- action must be taken to address the under-representation of women and minority groups in the union
- the union must investigate and deal with complaints properly
- the union's communication with members must improve
- the union should recognise strike committees when we are in dispute, which should be able to submit resolutions on the strategy for the dispute, and should be consulted about any offer to settle the dispute
- the Annual General Meeting should be bigger and therefore more representative

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