Many Londoners have been fuming about the extra hours its taken them to get into work and back home since RMT members on the tube went on strike at 7pm on Tuesday. Unfortunately, some have taken to blaming the RMT, understandable given the vicious propaganda carried out by Boris Johnson, Transport for London, and the likes of the Evening Standard. However, as socialists, we need to point out that the line we get spun by the bosses is rarely the whole truth (or even the truth at all). For this reason, this video explanation by RMT General Secretary Bob Crow of what really happened in the negotiations – the truth about ‘the demand for a 5% raise’ and redundancies – is useful for us. Crow invites the bosses to sue him for slander or libel if what he says is untrue.
What is interesting about how negotiations broke down, is that it seems as though City Hall may have purposefully provoked the action. This could be part of a long term plan to build public resentment for the RMT in preperation for a concerted attack on the union once a Conservative government comes into power (and no doubt save a couple of days wages while they’re at it as well). Those of us living in London, need to go out of our way to defend the RMT to colleagues and friends, and make it clear that this confrontation – and other confrontations to come – have been provoked by Johnson and Transport for London.