Solidarity spoke to Steve Hedley, the newly elected Secretary of the RMT union’s London Transport Regional Council. The union is currently gearing up for a number of important fights.
Q: What do you think the RMT in London Transport Region should be doing?
A: We should have a coordinated strategy to take back into public ownership all parts of London Underground. We should try to eliminate the use of contractors and casual labour and employ all contract workers as full time staff. We need to put maximum pressure on Livingstone before the mayoral elections in May. The RMT needs to become a campaigning organisation that makes links with the local community.
Q: What changes do you intend to make in your new role?
A: The Regional Council should start to see itself as a body for campaigning, not just debating. Right now resolutions get debated and passed but they don’t get put into effect on the ground. Recruitment days organised by the Regional Council are poorly attended, yet activists seem happy to attend a bun fight at a monthly meeting. The Region needs to focus on relating to ordinary members, on looking outward rather than inward. One part of this will be to move the monthly Regional Council meetings to a non-alcoholic venue! This will open it up to people of all denominations and help to build links with local communities.