Both RMT and ASLEF’s tube strike ballots met the arbitrary and hypocritical thresholds the Tories plan to impose: both had turnouts of over 50%, and both had majorities of more than 40% of all those eligible to vote.
It is a superb symbolic and rhetorical victory for the RMT, against whom much of the right-wing ire about “disruptive” strikes is focused, that their highest-profile ballots since the new laws were proposed, on Network Rail and now London Underground, have cleared the Tories’ thresholds. It gives an immense democratic mandate to the LU strikes, even on the Tories’ terms.
But justifiable pride at having returned such results should not get in the way of a militant campaign to stop the imposition of new laws. RMT’s AGM discussed, and passed unanimously, several resolutions (including some moved by Workers’ Liberty members active in RMT branches) committing the union to work towards a real national campaign, including a demonstration, against the laws.
Activists in branches across unions, including Lambeth Unison, DWP East London PCS, and Unite NW/0152M (University of Liverpool), with others passing motions this week, have formed a “Right To Strike” mobilising committee to help coordinate grassroots activity.
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