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Model motion on the RMT conference on the crisis of working class representation

 

1. This [branch] welcomes the decision of the Rail Maritime and Transport union to call a national conference on the crisis of working class representation and the campaign for trade union freedom.

2. This branch believes that the Labour Party government has betrayed the aspirations of millions of workers inside and outside of the trade unions over the past eight years. It has attacked the provision of welfare services for all, and those who deliver them. It now aims to dismantle the NHS and state school system. It has followed the United States into aggressive wars of conquest in Afghanistan and Iraq, and now threatens Syria and Iran. It has taken away democratic and civil rights in the name of the "war on terror", while terrorising those seeking asylum on our shores. It is, in short, an anti-working class government.

3. This branch also believes that the Labour Party itself is impervious to normal constitutional reform. Its leadership says it will categorically ignore any conference decisions it disagrees with. The rules for changing the leadership effectively rule out any challenge from the left. Its membership has more than halved and is now dominated by those loyal to the leadership. The RMT was itself expelled for supporting the Scottish Socialist Party, even though the SSP, unlike Labour, is committed to rail renationalisation. Even those committed to reforming the Labour Party cannot deny that external pressure is needed.

4. This branch believes that the working class needs its own political representation. The anti-union laws, drawn up by Margaret Thatcher, retained and strengthened by Tony Blair, are now the policy of every major political party. The campaign for trade union freedom and solving the crisis of working class political representation are now intrinsically interlinked.

5. This branch therefore agrees to send x delegates to the conference on the 21 January 2006. Furthermore, we agree to contact other local unions, campaigns and working class political organisations (e.g. Respect, the Labour lefts), urging them also to attend, and to organise a campaign locally to continue the debate and agree on
further actions (e.g. building for the TUC's spring demonstration against the anti-union laws).
 

November 2005

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This motion which was drafted by socialists in the Workers Power group refers to the RMT conference which passed a motion from Bristol Rail branch calling for the union executive to "build a national conference of trade unions and organisations of working class communities and political organisations to discuss the crisis of political representation of the working class".

 

Conference details

 

Start: 21 January, 2005 - 11:30
Location: Friends House, Euston Road, London (opposite Euston station)

There will be no resolutions.

All RMT branches and regional councils have been invited to send delegations.

Other trade unions will be invited at national level it looks as if the conference will not admit delegations from branches of other unions unless agreed by their head offices.

Branches and committees of other unions do of course have the option of electing delegates and then writing to their union head office to ask the union to sponsor those delegates.

For Socialist Unity ~ For Internationalism ~ For Peace ~ For Justice ~ For Unity ~ For Socialism