Why Are We Waiting?

Posted in Tubeworker's blog on Mon, 09/11/2009 - 19:10,

Nearly five weeks ago, RMT reps met to discuss 'where next?' with the LU dispute, spoke broadly in favour of a re-ballot and voted unanimously to reject the pay offer. Over five weeks ago, RMT's executive decided to re-ballot.

And since then? Rank and file reps have put out posters saying, 'RMT will be balloting you soon', but we've hardly had a word from RMT's leadership on when this will happen. It should have been last week, but as far as we know, it won't even be this week.

All LU industrial reps were released to have an input into that meeting. It looked like the dispute was regaining some of the openness and democracy which began the year and disappeared mid-dispute some time in the Summer.

RMT's leadership will not openly tell reps and members that the course of action we advocated and they themselves have voted for (the re-ballot) is misguided. Their preferred option is to do nothing. As an alternative to arguing their case during the decision-making process, they just decide afterwards not to carry out the decision. It is an underhand and unaccountable way of doing things.

The leadership seems able to use their role of sending notice to the company and organising the re-ballot, necessitated by the anti-union laws, to control disputes, even when the rank and file have input into the decisions.

It is becoming hard to sustain members' interest in the dispute. The delay does not create the mood that the fight is urgent. No doubt, when presented with a ballot paper, people will still vote the same way as long as the pay offer remains unchanged, but with less enthusiasm.

If the leadership are against a re-ballot, thinking it's born to fail, they are only exacerbating the problem the longer they wait and leave members out of the loop.

So, come on RMT, act on your decisions, and let's have some openness and communication with rank and file members, please!

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