Poplar: the Borough that Fought Back and Won

RMT News Poplar

… and why it matters today By Janine Booth, published in RMT News. The two biggest employers in the east London borough of Poplar one hundred years were the railways and the docks. Our forerunner unions had plenty of members … Read more

Throwing Stones in 2020

throwing stone

After A Stone’s Throw Away by Paul Weller   News just in of last year’s protests starting again in Chile And hundreds of thousands massing in the city streets for women’s rights in Poland Burned-out squatters turning out in Johannesburg … Read more

Bristol’s Brilliant Bus Boycott (1963)

Bristol bus boycott

Back before barring blacks became banned Bristol buses blocked brown-skinned blokes becoming buscrew But better Bristolians batted back bit the bullet and boycotted the buses Bent-backed, booted bipeds bicycled, as bitter brushes blazed between bile and benevolence Bands of brave, … Read more

How Transport Workers Beat the Colour Bar

Asquith Xavier

A version of this was published in Solidarity 568: This story of colour bars in the UK railway and bus industries begins after the Second World War, when Britain had a labour shortage and people moved to Britain in increasing numbers … Read more

1920 Blind March: a centenary to celebrate

Blind March article in RMT News

This article was published in RMT News, September 2020. By Janine Booth, Chair of RMT National Disabled Members’ Advisory Committee One hundred years ago, two hundred and fifty blind people from across the UK marched from Newport, Manchester and Leeds … Read more

Llanelli 1911 Railway Strike Commemoration Rally

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On facebook live introduced and hosted by Tim Evans Cor Cochion music video Steve Hedley, Assistant General Secretary RMT Tosh McDonald, former President ASLEF Shavanah Taj, General Secretary Wales TUC Mark Serwotka, General Secretary PCS Hussein Said, Stand Up To … Read more

The first Remembrance Day


Also published in Solidarity newspaper. One hundred years ago, on the very first Remembrance Day, 11 November 1919, the Daily Herald, a socialist newspaper, published this article on its front page. It was one year after the Armistice, and Prime … Read more

The 1919 rail strike – a reply


The last issue of RMT News contained a useful pull-out on the historic 1919 railway strike. It captured some of the excitement of the action and its success in beating back pay cuts. The strikers and their supporters are heroes … Read more

1919 – Ready for Rebellion


Also posted on the Workers’ Liberty website here. As 1919 began, working-class people in Britain and many other countries looked forward to leaving the Great War behind them and rebuilding their lives. They expected and demanded a better society than … Read more

1919 – Purging the Police


This would be the year in which the capitalist state rigorously enforced the role of the police, purging them of rebels, ensuring their loyalty and cutting any link between them and the workers’ movement. The events of 1919 shaped the … Read more

1919-2019: Making History


Also published the Workers’ Liberty website here. The stories of 1919 are historic struggles. But mostly, they failed. Even when they succeeded in heading off a particular attack or winning an advance, they did not succeed in remaking society. Imagine … Read more

1919 – Whose Peace?


Also published on the Workers’ Liberty website here.   11 November 1918 had been merely an armistice. The war would not be officially over until peace terms had been negotiated. The victorious Allied countries began six months of talks in … Read more

1919 – Militarists and Mutineers


Also published on the Workers’ Liberty website. The ‘Great War’ was finally over. When it had begun in August 1914, the British government predicted that it would be won by Christmas, but it had dragged on for four more years, … Read more

1919 – Throwing off the shackles of Empire


Also published on the Workers’ Liberty website here.   After Britain and its Allies had won the war, proclaiming themselves champions of freedom and democracy, the people of its imperial possessions stepped up their democratic demand for some of that … Read more

1919 – Divided by Racism


While workers were angry and willing to fight, too often their anger was aimed at fellow workers of a different colour rather than at the employers and authorities responsible for their exploitation and poverty. Sometimes this occurred in the absence … Read more

1919 – Triple Alliance: Untapped Power

rail strike bulletin

Also published on the Workers’ Liberty website, here. With engineers and others taking on the employers, the time was ripe for the other bastions of industrial power – the rail workers, miners and transport workers – to join the fray. The … Read more