Minutes: Regional Council meeting, 26 November 2009


  • Bakerloo branch -
  • Camden no.3 branch - Geoff Palmer, Becky Crocker, Geoff Palmer
  • Central Line West branch - Vaughan Thomas (meeting chair), Stefan Melnyk
  • DLR branch -
  • East Ham branch -
  • Finsbury Park branch - Will Reid, Dave Rayfield, Mercy Odisi, Glenroy Watson,
  • LU Fleet branch -
  • Hammersmith & City branch - Mark Harding, Josie Toussaint-Pinnock
  • Jubilee South & East London Line branch -
  • London Taxis branch - John Kennedy, Mike Tinnion
  • LU Engineering branch - Andy Littlechild, Lewis Peacock, Jackie Darby
  • Morden & Oval branch -
  • Neasden branch - Adrian Rowe
  • Piccadilly & District West branch - Gwyn Pugh
  • Retired Members' branch -
  • Stratford no.1 branch - Adrian Finney, Janine Booth (meeting secretary)
  • TfL no.1 branch - Joanne Parry, Carol Foster, Lindsey Rutland, Paul Rutland, Pete Woods
  • Thames Riverboats branch -
  • In attendance - Steve Hedley (Regional Organiser), Olly New (Council of Executives member)


Pat O'Brien, Paul Jackson, Linda Wiles, Peter Sheridan, Dean O'Hanlon, Steve Reeley, Les Bruty, Pat Sikorski, Brian Haughian, Andy Izard, Brian Munro, Neil Hodgson, Andy Leach


Proposed by Piccadilly & District West; seconded by Hammersmith & City. Agreed as true and correct.




Dave Rayfield reported on:

  • recent organising and recruitment days - successful, despite low turnout
  • next organising and recruitment day on Wednesday 2 December - meet at Unity House 10am - full-time release reps to attend unless other duties prevent this; all branches to send at least one person, funding unpaid leave if necessary

Points raised in discussion

  • Friday 27 November: organising and recruitment day aimed at catering workers at Waterloo mainline station; London Tranpsort region activists are welcome to join in
  • London Taxis branch is facing anti-RMT propaganda from LTDA in its 'Taxi' newspaper


Olly New reported on:

  • EDF Powerlink legal judgment against our ballot - decision soon on leave to appeal
  • 2 December: campaign against job losses on Network Rail
  • London Overground cleaners being brought inhouse
  • Eurostar/Carlisle group cleaners' dispute
  • LU Hammersmith depot dispute - looks like we have won
  • LU Willesden Green group ballot - closes 3 December
  • Alstom, Stratford Market depot ballot
  • Woolwich Ferry - we stopped compulsory redundancies following 100% vote in "action short" ballot
  • DLR pay offer:- 2.25% year 1, plys RPI+0.5% (minimum 2%) for years 2, 3 and 4 - referendum, recommendation to accept
  • LU pay: offers on medical redeployment and union reps' training; ballot going ahead, delay seemed unnecessarily long; need to build for big Yes vote
  • bus branch - proposal being discussed by Executive; Unite has complained to TUC re RMT allegedly organising bus workers
  • resolution on Young BNP - RMT will be contacting Hope Not Hate, Woodcraft Folk and others
  • Young Members' Advisory Committee - to be set up as per rule book
  • Young Members' bade and pack to be produced, but not new banner
  • RMT Junction, social networking site, to be set up

Points raised in discussion:

  • LU pay:
    • should highlight TfL bosses' bonuses
    • should point out that fares have gone up by 3.9%
    • negative inflation?! members can not think of any goods that are going down in price!
    • ballot is straightforward: demand more pay - we do not have to rely on "loyalty"
    • should avoid redeployment issue becoming a red herring, distracting us from the central issue of pay
    • importance of campaigning for Yes vote
    • need more fiery publicity from head office
    • no feedback from members for accepting pay offer
    • should invite Unite to join our action short
    • redeployment offer inadequate, offers nothing to CSAs, does not guarantee alternative jobs to others - reply: true, but don't underestimate it; it focuses on CSA grade because more adjustments are possible in this grade
    • must defend CSAs: they are biggest grade in our membership, low paid, work hard and professionally; treated badly
    • there are bigger battles coming up - reply: agree
    • is the national leadership fully behind this dispute? - reply: the Executive voted for the ballot unanimously
  • Solidarity Committee has been set up, arising from public sector trade unionists' meeting organised by LSSN/Regional Council
  • can there be a cross-union, united response to the EDF ruling? - reply: not sure what other unions can do other than help fund our legal costs
  • Hammersmith depot - got two drivers' jobs back
  • RMT Junction may not be a success, better to organise RMT's presence on Facebook instead - reply: let's see how it goes
  • Hope Not Hate - criticism of its approach of condemning BNP as "not a normal political party" - reply: HNH produces good publicity
  • what's happening with TfL pay?
  • TfL: redeployment is being used to pick off RMT members; appalling treatment of members who are assaulted at work
  • what's happening with resolution on Second Regional Organiser? - reply: Executive will discuss in December
  • welcome progress with Young Members' Advisory Committee
  • what's timescale re bus branch? - reply: no specific timescale
  • RMT should use media more - reply: disagree, media is hostile to us, and we do OK considering; please feed issues to head office


Steve Hedley reported on:

  • thanks to Dave Rayfield for his sterling work as Membership Secretary
  • target: everyone recruit two new members in the next week
  • please takes bags of publicity materials
  • Unite activity against taxi members
  • EDF reballot
  • Unite putting up a fight over LU pay
  • London Overground cleaners brought inhouse, £15,500 pay, plus paid holidays, can apply for other grades
  • TfL pay - back at ACAS on Monday, possibility of movement on PRP and other issues
  • TfL redeployment policy is rubbish, because negotiated by TSSA
  • need to organise on TfL
  • LU pay:
    • management trying to create diversion away from main issue, which is pay; redeployment offer is not a guarantee, and noone in the union should pretend that it is; it gives nothing to CSAs
    • lots of publicity is going out to members, the issue is clear, we need to use creative tactics
    • role of TSSA
    • bigger battles? yes, but running away from this one will not help
  • Mercy Odisi and LUL's ridiculous accountancy system
  • examples of media coverage achieved by RMT
  • anti-BNP mobilisation at Upney last Thursday

Points raised in discussion:

  • need to use media, email campaigning, local radio and newspapers; hsould consider paying for advertising space in newspapers
  • TfL no.1 branch organising in specific workplaces eg. Pier Walk
  • LU pay:
    • official circular inaccurate about redeployment, claiming "guarantee"
    • action short is popular; don't let it lapse again


(a) Service Control Apprentices, submitted by Neasden, seconded by Hammersmith & City

This Regional Council condemns the callous attitude shown by Management, particularly HR, towards apprentices and ex-apprentices and other groups of members in Service Control. The Management aim is to redeploy these members despite being promised jobs in Service Control.
Further to this we call on the General Secretary of this Union, Bob Crow to intercede to determine their lines of Representation within LUL and place them under the auspices of the Service Control Functional Council. They have arbitrarily been placed with MATS which does not believe they can effectively represent them..

Delegates from TfL no.1, Piccadilly & District West and LU Engineering spoke in favour of the resolution.

Carried unanimously.

(b) Cleaners and Immigration Rights, submitted by the Regional Council Executive

In the light of resolutions passed at AGMs to support our members in the cleaning grades and oppose exploitation of migrant workers and in recognition of the facts that:
1. Most of our cleaning members are from ethnic minorities.
2. The various cleaning and other companies have used immigration rules to systematically exploit those who have organised in trade unions.
London Transport Regional Council calls on the Council of Executives to instruct the General Secretary to:
A. write to the members of our Parliamentary group with a view to embarking on a campaign to win an amnesty for our cleaning grade members who are deemed to be working here illegally.
B. write to the General Secretaries of Unite, Unison and any other unions who have had members similarly exploited, inviting their support for our campaign.

Glenroy Watson proposed on behalf of the Executive.

Passed with 1 abstention.

(c) Solidarity with Workers in Iran, submitted by Camden 3, seconded by TfL no.1

In Iran:

  • independent trade unions are banned
  • workers' protests like May Day are repressed
  • the June protests for democracy and human rights in Iran ended in repression, arrests and imprisonment of thousands of protestors
  • trade unionists still continue to fight, although many are sacked, arrested, imprisoned for trade union activities eg. Mansoor Ossanlou of the Syndicate of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed) is still in prison, his health is deteriorating and he has been denied treatment outside the prison.

Despite such severe restrictions Iran is recognised by the International Labour Organisation as a member state.
It is the view of Iran's independent trade unionists, including Sherkat-e Vahed, that the ILO should not recognise Iran government appointees as the representatives of the workers.

This Regional Council believes:
1. A campaign of solidarity with Iranian workers and political prisoners is an urgent necessity.
2. While opposing Iranian government repression we are also against military attacks and economic sanctions on Iran.
This Regional Council resolves:
1. to endorse and publicise monthly protests outside the Iranian embassy calling for workers' rights in Iran
2. to send a message calling for the release of Mansoor Ossanlou via the Amnesty International website
3. to ask the RMT nationally to write to the ILO calling on them not to recognise Iran's government-appointed so-called workers' representatives; and to ask the International Transport Federation to do the same.

Proposing, Camden clarified that the monthly protests referred to had been replaced with plans for a speaker tour.

Carried unanimously.

(d) General Election, submitted by Camden 3, amendment from Stratford no.1 (providing new last line) accepted by Camden 3

This RMT branch supports Bob Crow's statement after the euro-elections when he said it's the collapse of public support for the three main parties - each of which is pro-business, pro-EU and supportive of the anti-union laws - which has created the conditions for the scapegoat politics of the BNP to thrive. The fascists' support in former mining communities like Barnsley is shocking and throws down a massive challenge to the Labour and Trade Union movement.
We now need to take stock. Along with our colleagues from the SLP and other left groups we won nearly a third of a million votes. From No2EU we won over 150,000 supporters from a standing start in the teeth of a media blackout. That gives us a solid platform to build from. We now need urgent discussion with political parties, campaigns and our colleagues in other unions like the CWU to develop a political and industrial response to this crisis.
We believe that our union, which already gives an industrial lead, should also give a political lead. this year working people have been fighting to save jobs and conditions - the RMT, CWU, construction workers at Lindsey, car workers at Visteon and Linamar, and now wind turbine factory workers at Vestas. But there is no mainstream political party which backs these workers and which stands against job losses, cuts and privatisation.
We look forward to democratic debate within the union about this, and the formation of a working-class slate for the election.

Delegates from the following branches contributed to the debate: TfL no.1, Piccadilly & District West

Carried unanimously.


No urgent/relevant correspondence. All correspondence referred to Executive.


Janine Booth reported on recent Special General Meetings on RMT pension fund and rule changes. Glenroy Watson also made a contribution.


Janine Booth to meet with Bob Crow on Friday 4 December to discuss outstanding issues raised by the Regional Council. Please inform Janine of any issues you would like to be raised.


  • Pensions Consultative Council election result (Mark Harding)
  • Demonstration against EDL, Harrow, Sunday 13 December (Janine Booth)
  • Youth Fight for Jobs (Joanne Parry)
  • Christmas social? (Glenroy Watson)

Meeting closed 18:55