By a RMT delegate
The RMT Special General Meeting held in Glasgow on the 6 February upheld the decision of its 2003 AGM to affiliate to organisations outside the Labour Party. The union has now been expelled from the Party. The outcome should be no surprise to the wider labour movement. The RMT has a proud tradition of standing by its principles and facing up to bullies.
The threats and ultimatums from the Labour Party Executive, (where representatives of our sister unions sit and shake in fear at the thought of rocking the boat), only served to strengthen the resolve of the delegation. We were not even given the chance of a hearing to explain our actions. Bob Crow in his summing up said "even Harold Shipman was given a hearing".
The delegates at the SGM were following the wishes of the membership that elected them. The anger of the workforce throughout the union, be it bus workers in Devon and elsewhere fighting for a decent wage and safety standards, or rail workers fighting the selling off of their industry and the disasters that is causing.
The RMT-sponsored MPs have pledged their support for us and will continue to fight our corner inside parliament. The question to be asked is where do we go from here?
This situation should be used to open the debate inside the Party and the TUC on how such an abyss could open up between the party and one of its founding members.
We should be exposing the real villain of the piece, Tory Blair and his anti-union policies. we must expose the gulf that Blair has opened up between the Labour Party and the labourforce of this country.
We must launch a campaign inside the TUC and the party for our re-affiliation.
We should encourage our members and the members of other unions to join the party as individuals and campaign in the constituencies for our re-affiliation.
We should use this to reclaim the party that we helped to set up over 100 years ago, by exposing the group of spivs and liars that are running it today.