View Full Version : RIP Bob Crow

11-03-2014, 10:07 PM
Sad and unexpected death there. Probably the last of the old fashioned unreconstructed British trade unionists.
Worth having a look at what his enemies said about him.

If I were a trade union leader, shop steward or (in my trade) Father of Chapel, I would always ask myself one simple question when in a tight spot: “What would Bob do?”
For decades we have had union leaders whose main interest in life seems to have been building ever bigger unions through mega-mergers, looking after their own terms and conditions of employment and failing miserably to read the writing on the wall about declining industries. After the “barons” of the 1960s and 1970s – Hugh Scanlon, Jack Jones, Tom Jackson and other great powers in the land – it all went wrong with Scargill, who did more to damage trade unionism than Thatcher.
Crow (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/bob-crow-dies-rmt-union-leader-dead-at-52-9183607.html) was different, and rare; he was effective. Those of us who have struggled with his tube strikes know well how he would carefully time the 24-hour or 48-hour stoppages for maximum disruption – midweek, during high holidays and starting and ending when trains are due in or out of their depots.

It was ruthless stuff, and many loathed him for it. And yet that was silly; rather like hating a fox because it goes after your chickens, or blaming a footballer who scored the winning goal against your own side. Crow simply did what a trade unionist should do, and secured the best possible deal for his members in any given set of circumstances


12-03-2014, 12:20 AM
He was an effective trade unionist and a match for Boris Johnson.

Slim Buddha
12-03-2014, 08:08 AM
He was unusual in that his members more than simply respected him. He had a genuine integrity about him that even his enemies acknowledged. Furthermore, in an era of union membership decline, his stewardship of the RMT union saw a membership increase of more than 30% which is extraordinary. He was regarded as a brilliant negotiator because his enemies knew that Bob had to be "noisy" in public but could always stike a deal in private. Mind you, what made Bob different is that the deals he struck were for the benefit of his members, not to sell them out.

RIP, Bob.

C. Flower
13-03-2014, 11:29 AM
Article worth reading, by Seamus Milne, on Thatcher's war against the miners, and on Bob Crowe.