Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

10 November 2021

Facebook   Twitter

Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

RMT AGM: Delegates focus on the looming battles over jobs, pay and pensions

photo Paul Mattsson

photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

RMT AGM delegates in the Socialist Party

The highlight of the 2021 RMT annual general meeting (AGM) was being able to accept a pay offer from Abellio ScotRail that bust open the government's pay freeze for 2021.

The AGM had already rejected an offer that tied an increase in 2022 to unacceptable productivity strings, which delegates from ScotRail felt would lead to job cuts. This was the second time that ScotRail's 'final' offer had been rejected after the executive had thrown out an inferior offer the previous week.

Finally, an offer was made for a no-strings offer of 2.5% for 2021, with new negotiations to start for 2022. This is the first time a train-operating company has made an offer of a pay rise without productivity strings since the government imposed a pay freeze on the rail industry, along with the public sector.

This victory on ScotRail can now act as a springboard for RMT's national ballot of workers at train operating companies and Network Rail to break the pay freeze across the board.

The battle to keep guards on our trains was also discussed, with delegates supporting the position of the executive to put an offer to resolve the dispute on South West Railways (SWR) to a referendum. The offer had been overwhelmingly supported by members. The SWR deal did not secure the role of the guard in train dispatch to the extent RMT had sought, but it does guarantee a safety critical guard on every train, and came following 72 days of strike action by RMT guards on SWR.

AGM delegates rejected a number of organisational resolutions that had been coordinated by the so-called Broad Left. These resolutions sought to begin a review, to be conducted by the general secretary, of RMT branch, regional and executive structures. Rightly, delegates preferred to focus on the looming battles over jobs, pensions, pay and conditions rather than begin a process of reorganisation that would be divisive and a massive distraction from our struggle to defend members across RMT sectors.

Several, though not all, of these resolutions focused on the idea of reserved seats on the executive, but the resolutions predetermined that the overall size of the executive would not change. This means one or more region losing its executive representation. Rather than appoint the general secretary to consider this matter the AGM agreed a resolution to consult the Black and Ethnic Members Advisory Committee on the issue of encouraging more diversity in leadership positions as a first step.

A number of political, and other items did not get taken, as the AGM was attempting to cover items outstanding from the Covid-truncated AGM in 2020, as well as the items for 2021. To further complicate matters, RMT staff walked out on Friday lunchtime, further shortening the AGM by half a day. Staff stated they were unhappy with the AGM decision to overturn an executive decision regarding protests held at RMT headquarters following the use of compulsory redundancy to deal with a member of staff working on the Union Learner Fund when government withdrew funding.

It is essential that the AGM remains the sovereign body, and that means the AGM decision to overturn the executive position must stand. Contrary to reports carried by the BBC, ITV and Morning Star, among others, staff were not called scabs by delegates, many of whom sought to offer a statement in support of our staff after the vote had been taken.

RMT staff are valued by AGM delegates, branches and members, and it is important that this is clearly stated, while we also uphold the democratic structures of our union.

A Special General Meeting will most likely need to be convened now to finish business but delegates have made one thing clear: RMT members will not let the government and bosses use the Covid pandemic as cover to attack our pay and conditions or to impose massive job cuts.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 10 November 2021:


Capitalism's COP26 failure: socialist planning vital

Thousands march in Glasgow and elsewhere to save the planet


Socialist planning to meet housing need

75 years after the first new town


Fight together for a pay rise

Council workers ballot on pay offer that's really a cut

School staff need a pay rise

Harsh Tory regime for benefit claimants and workers

Tories under pressure in bid to remove pension triple lock

What we think

Sleaze and pay a toxic mix for Tories

Socialism 2021

Why I'm coming to Socialism 2021

Workplace news

CWU conference debates political strategy

RMT AGM: Delegates focus on the looming battles

University workers vote for action in two disputes

Sheffield bin workers strike: "End rubbish pay!"

Support for all-out scaffs strike spreads

Weetabix workers escalate action in crunch dispute

International news

Portugal's government falls: Left must adopt a new course


John Barnes on class and capitalism. What's missing?


Home   |   The Socialist 10 November 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangle10,000 tube workers vote to strike - don't make workers pay for TfL funding crisis

triangle10,000 tube workers vote to strike

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleEast Mids rail conductors force concessions, train managers' dispute continues

triangleGuards fight for their grades on CrossCountry rail


triangleSwansea Socialist Party: The minimum wage and working week, pensions and benefits

triangleSupport tube workers fighting back

triangleSupport uni workers' walk-out on pay and pensions

triangleTories hammer nail in pensions triple lock coffin


triangleBarts NHS workers strike back

triangleEducation: Workload and inflation goes up, incomes fall

triangleSelling the Socialist


triangleTheatre: Yes Yes UCS

triangle10,000 tube workers vote to strike over jobs, terms and pension cuts


triangleBritain's waterways choked with a 'chemical cocktail'


triangleMore fares misery for passengers - renationalise the railways


triangleUK Covid-19 mortality similar to Spanish Flu

Article dated 10 November 2021

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party


Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales


Bulk book orders

New member submission


triangle27 Jan West London Socialist Party: Was Stalinism Inevitable?

triangle27 Jan Waltham Forest Socialist Party: Fighting for trans rights

triangle27 Jan Cardiff East Socialist Party: The struggle for justice for the Cardiff 3


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party

What we think


Cost of living

Trade unions and the cuts

Workplace news

International news

Campaigns news


Readers' opinion

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1164 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files

Sheffield Just Eat strikers step up action and hold mass rally, photo by Alistair Tice

Sheffield Just Eat strikers step up action and hold mass rally: Over 100 trade unionists and students in Sheffield rallied in support of the Just Eat delivery drivers on their 31st day of targeted strike action against company pay cuts. Photo by Alistair Tice

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version