The breaking news this evening is that Labour Party member Mick Cash has won the election for General Secretary of the RMT union. In a statement on the RMT website Mick said:
“I want to thank the membership of RMT for giving me an overwhelming mandate as the newly elected General Secretary. I am proud and honoured to have been given the enormous responsibility of now taking our fighting and militant union forwards, six months after the bitter loss to the Labour Movement of Bob Crow.
“Let me make this clear. There will be no deviation from the industrial, political and organising strategy mapped out by RMT under Bob’s leadership. Our fight on pay, jobs, working conditions, pensions and safety continues on every front and in every industry where we organise members.
The RMT is probably the most successful trade union in the UK, being one of the only trade unions which is in a position to deliver the goods for it's members. In the long term however there is one adjustment to Bob Crow's legacy that he really does have to tackle head on and that's the RMT backing of the irrelevant Trade Union and Socialist Coalition.
With the general election less than a year away, there is little time for Mr Cash and his supporters to re-orientate the RMT back to the political mainstream, but the fact that the far-left Steve Hedley came third in the ballot illustrates that the TUSC has little to no support amongst ordinary union members.
Change in trade unions is notoriously slow, but the need to remove the current Tory led coalition government has never been greater.
Let us hope the RMT wakes up to that basic reality in due course..