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RMT to push for education programme to explain benefits of trade unionism in schools

TRANSPORT union RMT will seek to push for an education programme in schools in conjunction with the TUC to explain the benefits of industrial trade unionism to a younger audience.

The motion, agreed at its annual conference today, also instructs the union to create a members’ pack to educate joiners on the history of trade unions and their role.

Industrial unionism is a method through which all workers in the same industry are organised into the same union, regardless of their skill or trade, a mantle RMT has proudly championed. 

Moving the successful motion, Southampton Shipping’s Gareth Jameson said: “Our workplaces will be better if every worker is a member, and every member is an activist.”

Quoting famous Russian revolutionary leader, Vladimir Lenin, Mr Jameson said: “We shouldn’t just teach the masses but learn from them. And the only way we will learn from them is by bring them into the union.”

Coventry number one delegate Edward Woodley argued that working-class consciousness had been “diluted” following the defeat of the NUM following the 1984-85 strike.

He said: “Several sections of the trade union movement have been asleep these last few decades and ultimately the responsibility of waking the trade union movement lies with us, the members.”

Supporting the motion, senior assistant general secretary Eddie Dempsey told conference that having militant democratic and industrial unions is the most effective way to organise working people.

He said: “Industrial trade unionism is a political and industrial philosophy. It is about mirroring how employers set up an industry and ultimately to take control of the industry.”

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