A meeting called by the Fire Brigades Union in north London to oppose privatisation and support tube workers showed the potential for solidarity with the fight to stop the tube sell-off. Some 120 people came to the meeting in Islington on Thursday of last week. There were groups of firefighters, post office workers, tube drivers and station staff, teachers, council workers and others.
'This meeting is an indication of the kind of rank and file support we can mobilise for the tube workers,' said Neale Williams from the FBU union in Islington, who chaired the meeting. Mick Rix, general secretary of ASLEF, told the meeting, 'I am sick and tired of hearing platitudes from ministers about safety while they are pushing privatisation.'
Bob Crow, assistant general secretary of the RMT, described how an appeal court judge had refused that day to overturn an injunction on the union outlawing a previous ballot for strike action. 'These restrictions are not under the Tory anti-union laws,' he said. 'They were brought in by a Labour government.'
Janine Booth, a tube worker and Socialist Alliance candidate in Islington South, underlined how unofficial action by RMT members had successfully defied the law. She won applause when-turning to left wing Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, also on the platform-she said, 'I would have no problem voting for Jeremy, who has spoken out in support of the fight against privatisation. But most Labour MPs have not. That is why I am standing against Chris Smith, the minister for the Dome.'