Minutes: Regional Council meeting, 28 January 2010


  • Bakerloo branch - Malcolm Taylor, Brian Munro, Eamonn Lynch, Jim McDaid
  • Camden no.3 branch - Pat O'Brien, John Reid, Mick Crossey, Joanna Prestwich, Tony Gandolfi, Geoff Palmer
  • Central Line West branch - Vaughan Thomas (meeting chair)
  • DLR branch -
  • East Ham branch - Andy Izard, Gary Lazell, Clare Reilly, James Wong-McSweeney
  • Finsbury Park branch - Will Reid, Dave Rayfield, Glenroy Watson, Frank Curtis, N Thomson, Dean O'Hanlon, Mark Walters, Richard Crane
  • LU Fleet branch -
  • Hammersmith & City branch - Mark Harding, Josie Toussaint-Pinnock
  • Jubilee South & East London Line branch - Chris Carroll, Jane Gwynn
  • London Taxis branch -
  • LU Engineering branch - Andy Littlechild, Lewis Peacock, Jackie Darby, Paul Jackson, Frank Murray, Doug Hammersley
  • Morden & Oval branch - Arwyn Thomas, Bob McMunn, Mark O'Donnell
  • Neasden branch - Adrian Rowe, Jared Wood, Nigel Eivers
  • Piccadilly & District West branch - Gwyn Pugh, Neil Hodgson
  • Retired Members' branch -
  • Stratford no.1 branch - Adrian Finney, Janine Booth (meeting secretary), Terry O'Neill, Unjum Mirza
  • TfL no.1 branch - Joanne Parry, Carol Foster, Linda Wiles
  • Thames Riverboats branch -
  • In attendance - Steve Hedley (Regional Organiser), Olly New (Council of Executives member), Bob Crow (General Secretary), Craig Johnstone (Council of Executives member)


Peter Sheridan, Les Bruty, Clara Osagiede, Paul Rutland, Bill O'dowd, Lindsey Rutland, Les Bruty, Jenny Rose, John Kennedy, Raj Vyas, Phil Boston, Becky Crocker, Ross Marshall

The meeting stood for a minute's silence in memory of Sister Carolyn Siddall,


Proposed by Piccadilly & District West; seconded by Stratford no.1. Agreed as true and correct.


Resolution on Iran - Janine Booth reported that a Iranian bus worker / trade unionist will be visiting Britain in late April, and proposed we invite him/her to address the April meeting of the Regional Council and suggest to the national union that s/he be invited to address the national bus workers' conference. Agreed.


Dave Rayfield reported on:

  • London Overground organising and recruitment days - successful, good turnout from reps
  • importance of recruitment and organising, given recent anti-union legal rulings


John McDonnell spoke to the meeting about:

  • the history of labour representation
  • how the RMT Parliamentary group was set up
  • the Public-Private Partnership
  • that the Parliamentary group can only operate as it does because it is backed by a union that is prepared to act
  • the Trade Union Co-ordinating Group
  • the General Election

Questions and discussion followed, including the following points:

  • Regional Council and branches should spend political funds supporting John's re-election
  • boundary changes in John's constituency
  • Socialist Campaign for John McDonnell
  • other Labour candidates not deserving support

John replied, emphasising the work of the Labour Representation Committee.


Olly New reported on:

  • the end of John Leach's term of office as National President
  • Network Rail: lobby of Parliament; job cuts; signallers'dispute
  • EDF Powerlink legal judgment: refused leave to appeal
  • London Underground pay
    • the decision to accept was difficult, but there was no alternative
    • the majority of activists who he spoke to said there was no mood for a strike
    • inflation was rising, so the second year's pay rise figure would be higher
    • having held a meeting on 21 December, there was no point holding a further reps' meeting
    • we were not strong enough to win more, so had to accept
  • future attacks on jobs: may be announcement tomorrow
  • £5 minimum Oyster top-up
  • signal technicians dispute: dates named for strikes and overtime ban
  • Alstom Stratford Market depot
  • Bakerloo dispute
  • DLR: issues re new 2/3-car trains; branch secretary and chair resigned, but will be replaced
  • LTRC resolution on second Regional Organiser rejected by Council of Executives, for financial reasons
  • LTRC resolution on bus branch rejected by Council of Executives, to avoid problems with TUC and Unite
  • LTRC resolutions on Tetra: seeking technical review and conducting survey
  • General Election: RMT backing members of its Parliamentary group; not supporting any other political parties; branches can request permission to support other candidates
  • April 10: major demonstration in defence of public services and the welfare state

Points raised in discussion:

  • Bakerloo dispute: more information
  • TfL pay/jobs dispute - reply: legal advice was negative
  • Signals dispute
  • EDF ruling: what do we do now? - reply: get our information right; take case to European Court of Human Rights
  • how are we organising bus workers? - reply: we are not
  • Mercy Odisi: why no mention? - reply: we had a weak ballot result and need to pursue legally rather than industrially
  • Tetra: trial being carried out on signals
  • General Election: advocate backing Trade Union and Socialist Coalition


Steve Hedley reported on:

  • buses - we should take Unite on; they are poaching our members in other areas
  • EDF Powerlink: won 16% increase in overtime rate
  • Alstom: won increase pay offer; members voted by narrow majority to accept; very good publicity put out; won because serious fight not token protest
  • Metronet signals dispute
  • employers bullish at present because they think they gave us a bloody nose on pay
  • Bakerloo dispute: relying on Directors appeal is a big risk
  • TfL threatening to take away travel expenses if unions don't accept pay
  • BNP in Barking

Points raised in discussion:

  • BNP in Barking:
    • demonstration in Barking 13 March
    • possibility of standing candidate to take votes away from Griffin
    • need to address this carefully
  • recruitment/recognition on TfL
  • talks on machinery of negotiation - reply: we have written to Gerry Duffy, proposing trigger numbers for reps
  • buses:
    • workers angry at Council of Executives decision
    • RMT claiming to be a fighting union but not living up to it
    • Unite not representing bus workers properly - reply: there is a big difference between RMT and Unite; we should take them on
    • alternative view: should not have bus workers branch because we should not go to war with Unite (Olly New replied: agree)
  • union has let cleaners down
  • threat to LU jobs: safety-critical licensing - reply: agree


The President proposed that resolutions 1 and 2, both on London Underground pay, should be debated together. This was agreed.

1. Conduct of London Underground pay dispute, submitted by LU Engineering, seconded by Hammersmith & City

This branch believes that the conduct of the recent dispute over pay raised some serious issues of democracy and integrity. This resolution seeks to improve the way in which the executive operates in future disputes. We demand that:

  • Once a decision to ballot has been made, the executive moves decisively to implementation
  • Communications with members and reps on the progress of negotiations is honest
  • If the executive members or officers believe that a dispute should be settled, they should attend an appropriate meeting of the members/ representatives involved and put their case in person
  • That sending a text message from Head Office with the executive decision to settle with no attempt at seeking a mandate is reprehensible and should not be repeated

2. London Underground pay dispute, submitted by Hammersmith & City, seconded by TfL no.1

This Regional Council Condemns the General Grades Committee’s decision to settle the 2009/10 pay dispute.

The membership had returned a 2-1 vote in favour of strike action and a 5-1 vote in favour of action short of a strike.

This showed that our members were not in favour of this deal and also showed members did not accept LUL management lies, intimidation and propaganda.

We feel this decision breached our democratic process and put our representatives in a terrible position after campaigning for a yes vote in the ballot.

We seek that this situation should never happen again.

Following proposing and seconding speeches, delegates from Finsbury Park and Stratford no.1 spoke in favour of the resolutions, delegates from Camden 3 and Neasden spoke for abstention.

A delegate from Bakerloo proposed moving straight to the vote. This was seconded and carried with one vote against.

Vote on the resolutions:
1. Carried: 9 in favour, 0 against, 2 abstentions
2. Carried: 9 in favour, 0 against, 2 abstentions

There being five minutes remaining, the President invited proposals as to how to proceed.

The Secretary proposed that the emergency resolution on the £5 minimum be taken, and all other resolutions and business remitted to the Regional Council Executive for it to either deal with itself or table again to the February Regional Council meeting.

This was agreed.


E1. £5 minimum top-up, submitted by Piccadilly & District West, seconded by Hammersmith & City

This Union has not been consulted on the implementation of the £5 minimum top up at Ticket offices. We believe this policy is both an attack on customers, especially poorer people, and a threat to the future of ticket offices and jobs.

As such, we believe that RMT should be in dispute with the Company. We were firmly against the initial trial and the purpose of LU introducing it permanently has changed from cutting queueing times to reducing ticket sales at windows - which LU will use to start removing Station Assistant Multi-Functionals from across the combine.

We call upon the Executive/GGC to ballot all stations members for action short of strike, and for this action to include boycotting the £5 minimum policy.

Moved formally. The President invited any speeches against; there were none.

Resolution carried unanimously.

All remaining business remitted to Regional Council Executive.

Meeting closed 19:00