Mick Lynch RMT

UK: The National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers has elected Assistant General Secretary Mick Lynch as its next General Secretary. He beat three other candidates to succeed Mick Cash, who had announced his intention to step down last October.

‘I will maximise the unity of our great organisation, bringing together every sector and grade to build our union’s membership, influence and power’, said Lynch when the result was announced on May 4. ‘We will grow our union in every workplace as a strong and dynamic force.

‘Our message to the employers and the politicians is that RMT stands ready to campaign and fight against pay freezes, cuts to safety and conditions. We call on the rest of the Labour Movement to stand strong and mobilise against any new age of austerity which makes working people pay for the Covid crisis.’

Lynch worked in engineering and construction before joining British Rail. He worked on Eurostar fleet maintenance, founding and growing the Eurostar branch of RMT. He has twice been elected as Assistant General Secretary, with responsibility for Network Rail, engineering, bus and railway pensions; he is a trustee director of the £30bn Railway Pension Scheme.

The union ‘is in safe hands’, said Cash, who had been elected General Secretary following the death of Bob Crow in 2014. Predicting that ‘there will be huge challenges in the months ahead, ‎as employers launch assaults on jobs, pay and pensions using the Covid pandemic as an excuse’, he said it would be ‘crucial that the whole union now unites behind Mick Lynch as General Secretary and gives him the support that he will need as RMT focuses on delivering ‎for our members in what we know will be tough days ahead.’