By Janine Booth, Finsbury Park RMT
The RMT has finally set a date for the conference on working-class political representation agreed by its AGM both this year and last year. It will take place on Saturday 21 January, 2006 at Friends House in Euston, London.
RMT HQ is very keen to stress that this is not a conference to set up a new party, but to discuss the crisis in working-class representation in more general terms. One of its major focuses will be the campaign for a bill to repeal the anti-trade union laws, the Trade Union Freedom Bill.
There will be no resolutions, and only RMT branches and regional councils have been invited to send delegates; other unions will only be invited at a national level. Still, branches and committes in other unions have the option of electing delegates and asking their union head office to “sponsor” them.
Will the conference result in any significant movement on the question of working-class representation? We will see!
Underground reps reject new rosters
As Solidarity went to press, a meeting of RMT station staff reps on London Underground had just decided to reject the new duty rosters proposed by LUL management — despite pleas by RMT negotiators to accept. The debate was part of a long-running struggle with management over how to implement the 35 hour week won by the RMT, with the union struggling to prevent the new rosters being used as an excuse for job cuts on many stations.