Victory to the RMT

This week the RMT have led the way in the struggle for the working class, and electrified the nation. This is a moment trade unionists and the left must grab hold of with both hands.

RMT flags fly at the official picket outside St Pancras International station on 21 June 2022 in London, United Kingdom. (Martin Pope / Getty Images)

It’s a privilege to be able to speak today, to show my solidarity to the striking RMT membership, and to thank this magnificent union for everything they have done for our class this week.

It’s been fantastic to stand on the picket lines in London and Liverpool, seeing the support from the public, and seeing my great friend Zarah hammering the Mail for a grand for the strike fund with the photo they used, which is now pride of place in my office.

The greatest Twitter feed on the planet has been slaying Tories and trolls with humour and facts—a joy to behold—and the RMT leadership, from Mick Lynch to Eddie Dempsey, has been absolutely dominating the airwaves with a skill and authenticity that has electrified our movement, and indeed, nation. To make a one-minute TikTok explaining to millions the injustice of capitalism is a rare skill, and we owe the RMT so much for this vital lesson in political education.

They have created a moment for the trade union movement we we must seize hold of. We must use this moment to begin to rebalance the scales of fairness for the working class.

This is the moment the country is saying enough is enough and looking for answers. The trade union movement can lead the way—and drag the Labour Party with it—by offering long-term solutions to the cost of living crisis which is decimating our communities.

We have, in our great city, one in four living in hunger. Yesterday, at our food pantry in West Derby, I spoke to a district nurse, a mum, who was on the verge of losing her home because of twelve years of wage stagnation. It is criminal. The system is utterly broken for millions.

Enough is enough.

We cannot tinker around the edges of poverty. We cannot stand by while profiteers destroy livelihoods, extracting profit for shareholders at the expense of the workers.

Enough is enough.

Over the coming months many other unions will enter dispute, and we must be on the picket lines supporting our comrades. I’m hoping to be with the barristers next week at the Old Bailey, striking at the decimation of legal aid. We will see many more demanding fairness.

We must leave no stone unturned, and put absolutely everything in this growing movement for change.

The present and future generations in this country demand our fight—our support—and they must get it by challenging this pernicious government and system.

Enough is enough.

I will leave you with the words of the great James Connolly, and it’s a pertinent message for some in this movement:

Don’t be ‘practical in politics’. To be practical in that sense means you have schooled yourself to think along the lines and in the grooves which those who rob you would desire you to think.

Solidarity comrades, and victory to the RMT.