Some of the RMT members who are TUSC candidates on May 22nd say why they are standing
Bob Crow, the late general secretary of the RMT transport workers' union, co-founded TUSC and the RMT has officially supported it since 2012. This year an unprecedented number of RMT activists - 53 in total - are standing for TUSC in the local elections. A few of them explain why they are standing to be councillors against cuts:
Daren Ireland (Click to enlarge)
"I am the RMT Regional Organiser for the North West and as a member of RMT have consistently fought to defend working class people in the workplace, as I will on the council for my ward Princes Park, Liverpool. Our services and communities are being damaged by the austerity policies of the ConDems and Labour. Enough is enough. We have to fight back against cuts and deliver socialist TUSC councillors in the local elections for the working class. That why I'm standing for TUSC".
Daren Ireland, TUSC candidate Princes Park, Liverpool
Glenroy Watson (Click to enlarge)
"I have spent more than half of my life - 35 years - in the transport industry. I am currently a driver on the Victoria line and an active member of the RMT union.
"I see every day what austerity means for London Transport. I am a member of the Equality Impact Assessment Joint Working Party looking at how TFL's proposed job cuts will impact on vulnerable sections of our workforce, the community, and the traveling public at large.
"I can report that these cuts are not fit for anyone. It is called 'fit for the future' because unless you are fully fit, and remain so, you have no future with London Underground as a worker or passenger, if Boris's austerity is implemented".
Glenroy Watson, Chair of RMT branch 0543, and TUSC candidate Chapel End, Waltham Forest
Craig Diggins (Click to enlarge)
"I work as a train driver on London Underground. I am an active RMT member whose union is currently fighting to defend jobs and safety against a vicious cost-cutting exercise. The three main parties will do nothing to stop the cuts on the Underground or anywhere else. Instead, they will cheer-lead a system which has created 104 billionaires in Britain while millions live below the poverty line and millions more fear for their futures; the same system which crashed but was then bailed out with our money.
"TUSC is an alliance of ordinary people who have had enough of austerity for the many, luxury for the few. We need councillors who will stand up for the majority instead of meekly carrying out the government's cuts programme. Make the rich pay for their own mess and leave our services alone! NO MORE CUTS!"
Craig Diggins TUSC candidate Bowes, Enfield
Gary Harbord, third from left (Click to enlarge)
"I'm an RMT industrial rep for Acton Town Piccadilly line. For years now our class have had no meaningful political representation at a national or local level. It's for this reason that the RMT is part of TUSC.
"The trade union movement have donated over Â£18 million to the Labour Party over the last year alone. The thanks we get for this is a Labour leadership that has refused to support a single dispute that our class have been involved in.
"Miliband scandalously condemned our members for taking strike action in defence of London Underground jobs and against ticket office closures. It's time for other trade unions to take a leaf out of the RMT's book and open up discussions to form a new workers' party".
Gary Harbord, TUSC candidate Uxbridge South, Hillingdon
Carlos Barros (Click to enlarge)
"I am a train driver on the tube and have been an RMT member for fifteen years. I am standing for TUSC in West Drayton. I decided to stand for the local elections because I am sick of there being no voice for the working class. We are being attacked from all parties and it's time to stand up to them. TUSC fights for the everyman. I have recently stood shoulder to shoulder with my workmates for 13 hours at a picket line to stand up to big business, the same gang who want to cut our services and not offer affordable housing. If you've had enough too, I urge you to vote TUSC on May 22nd and together we can make the change this country needs".
Carlos Barros, TUSC candidate West Drayton, Hillingdon