RMT Political Strategy

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To: All Branches and Regional Councils

11th March 2016
P6
Circular No. NP89/16

Dear Colleague

RMT Political Strategy

The 2015 AGM asked the National Executive Committee to review our political strategy. This was considered at the 2016 March Statutory Meeting of the NEC who made the following decision.  

“We note that the 2015 AGM asked us to review and strengthen our political strategy, including our approach to TUSC, and that we need to be flexible to the challenges and opportunities that arise.

We also note and welcome that since the 2015 AGM, Jeremy Corbyn has been elected leader of the Labour Party and we welcome the progress he and John McDonnell and others have made to make Labour supportive of our key policy points.  We believe that we should do all we can to support and maintain that progress.

While we believe that we need to be flexible in our political strategy including our approach to TUSC, we do not believe there is yet a case for affiliation to a political party, which as stipulated by the 2015 AGM remains a matter for the AGM.

This union set up TUSC and has been part of it since it started. The NEC believes that the 2016 AGM should review our involvement in TUSC, in light of the new situation in the Labour Party, the poor electoral record of TUSC, and the lack of response to TUSC from other trades unions. We therefore invite the views of branches and Regional Councils on whether we should continue our involvement in TUSC, as part of this consultation over our political strategy.

We reiterate that the RMT will retain flexibility to back different candidates and parties.
Branches and Regional Councils retain the right to submit requests under RULE
In exercising this rule we also reiterate the 2015 AGM decision that the NEC should be guided by the following criteria

1.    That candidates support the unions key polices. We back candidates who back us.

2.    That mean support for the candidate is in the interests of the Union and its members, either because the candidate supports key union polices or because the election of an opposing candidate would be clearly more harmful to the interests of the union and its members.

3.    Requests should not be supported where the Council of Executives have already agreed that the union is supporting another candidate or where there is a candidate in the same election who, on basis of evidence available at the time clearly has a better chance of winning who supports the unions key policy objectives.

4.    Whether support for a candidate would make it more likely that there would be the election of another candidate whose election would clearly be more harmful to the interests to the interests of the union and its members.
We therefore instruct the General Secretary to circulate this decision, and information about the electoral performance of TUSC since its inception, to Regional Councils and Branches. Responses by Tuesday 31st May and placed before the NEC June stats meeting for a definitive position on our future political strategy to be placed before the June 2016 AGM.”

As stated above the NEC believes that the 2016 AGM should review our involvement in TUSC, in light of the new situation in the Labour Party, the poor electoral record of TUSC, and the lack of response to TUSC from other trades unions. They therefore invite the views of branches and Regional Councils on whether we should continue our involvement in TUSC, as part of this consultation over our political strategy.  As instructed I also attach information about the electoral performance of TUSC.

Branches and Regional Councils are urged to respond to this consultation and you may use the attached form to assist you in submitting your response.

Please respond no later than 31 May 2016.

Yours sincerely  
 

Mick Cash                    
General Secretary