The RMT SGM on 30 May voted narrowly to reject affiliation to the Labour Party. The overall vote, 25 – 31, is roughly proportionate to the votes in branches and regions on the question.
As was carried in Solidarity previously part of the blame for the failure to affiliate has been the attitude towards the question by those in the RMT national leadership who supported affiliation but posed it almost entirely as a question of influence in national structures and what kind of return would be received from the affiliation fee.
The SGM adopted a recommendation from the NEC allowing, “200 plus Branches and Regional Councils to use their political funds to back Labour at elections, whilst Labour continues to support key RMT policies on transport and trade union rights.”
The statement is made up of several other unclear statements including the encouragement of RMT branches to RMT Branches to “develop relations with local Labour Parties” and for the union to “consider what other steps it can take to support, defend, and develop the socialist advances that have been made within the Labour Party.”
The outcome of the SGM is a blow for those in the union who supported affiliation on the basis of building Labour into a party of strikes and to push it to support and campaign on radical pro-working class demands.
We want to work with other Labour supporters and members within the union to do this.