Rail union leader and regular Burston Rally speaker Bob Crow has died

The 2013 Burston Strike Rally gets under way.
Bob Crow speech. The 2013 Burston Strike Rally gets under way. Bob Crow speech.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
11:05 AM

Rail union leader Bob Crow has died, it has been announced.

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The Rail, Maritime and Transport union made the announcement “with the deepest regret”.

Mr Crow was a regular at the Burston strike school rally, near Diss, each September and was due to speak at this year’s event to celebrate the longest strike in history, when schoolchildren went on strike in 1914 to support their teachers,

A brief statement said: “It is with the deepest regret that RMT has to confirm that our general secretary Bob Crow sadly passed away in the early hours of this morning.

“RMT would request that all media respect the privacy of the friends and family of Bob Crow at this distressing time.”

Mr Crow, who was 52, was one of the most high-profile, left-wing union leaders of his generation, sparking as much anger from passengers hit by rail and Tube strikes, as praise from his members for winning pay rises.

He was constantly involved in industrial disputes and campaigns and led a walkout by London Underground workers last month in a dispute over ticket office closures.

The straight-talking south Londoner was a passionate supporter of Millwall Football Club.

His death caused shockwaves in the trade union movement today.

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, who stood on picket lines with Mr Crow during last month’s Tube strike, said: “Bob Crow was admired by his members and feared by employers, which is exactly how he liked it.

“It was a privilege to campaign and fight alongside him because he never gave an inch.”

Norwich North Labour candidate Jessica Asato tweeted: “Sad to hear news of Bob Crow’s death. He always gave the most rousing speech at the Burston Rally and will be missed.”

12 comments

  • Slight exaggeration there Larson. Never met him but I didn't like him. Seemed to be a champagne communist on £150k per year allegedly.

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    Steely Dan

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

  • I wonder how much he cost the economy with silly strikes etc. It's a shame when anybody passes away and I am sorry for those he left behind but don't make him out to be a hero.

    Report this comment

    Sweet cheeks

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

  • Samphire. A restricted social resource like council housing should go to those who most need it. My mum and dad were on a housing list for many years and could not get on it. They needed it as the were very hard up. How sickening they had to stay on the list because (amongst a number of reasons) the likes of Crow think they have a 'right' to a subsidised - by those of us who earn less than him - council house. Bob Crow had enough income to support himself, not live in subsidised accommodation. I don't understand why any of us should indirectly be supporting somebody who earns 45 times as much of us. Ridiculous. Unless of course you're advocating council housing for all (which then would have to be compulsory). As ever, the socialist (Marxist, I believe in Bob's case) aspect of all this is a very mix-and-match affair when it comes to one's self! Having said that, I do like conviction politicians, as Bob was. Did a good job for his members.

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    lockers

    Wednesday, March 12, 2014

  • Hhmm, he was rather selective with his socialism (aren't they all?). From BBC website: "I was born in a council house. As far as I'm concerned I will die in one." This having been asked why he lived in a council house, despite earning £145,000 a year. Looks like someone who actually needs one will now be able to get one. Sorry if that sounds uncharitable, but he was working the system.

    Report this comment

    lockers

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

  • Samphire. A restricted social resource like council housing should go to those who most need it. My mum and dad were on a housing list for many years and could not get on it. They needed it as the were very hard up. How sickening they had to stay on the list because (amongst a number of reasons) the likes of Crow think they have a 'right' to a subsidised - by those of us who earn less than him - council house. Bob Crow had enough income to support himself, not live in subsidised accommodation. I don't understand why any of us should indirectly be supporting somebody who earns 45 times as much of us. Ridiculous. Unless of course you're advocating council housing for all (which then would have to be compulsory). As ever, the socialist (Marxist, I believe in Bob's case) aspect of all this is a very mix-and-match affair when it comes to one's self! Having said that, I do like conviction politicians, as Bob was. Did a good job for his members.

    Report this comment

    lockers

    Wednesday, March 12, 2014

  • RIP Bob,a true advocate for worker safety.

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    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

  • To lockers .... I know a couple of teachers, several nurses and a social worker who all live in council houses. As long as bob crow paid his rent who cares?

    Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

  • My sincere condolences to Bob Crows family and all those who genuinely loved him as a 'good bloke'. I have met and talked to Bob Crow at a Green party Conference talk he gave and afterwards, he liked the idea of taking back the rail network into public hands, indeed he was surprised by the radical policies the Green party advanced. Bob was an idea's man who had the gift of the gab. He also knew intrinsically how working class life's were organised and principled, he understood the actions taken by German working class unionists in 1973 after the oil crisis, he knew that onluy closer relations between board and workers would sufice, he knew of the importance of R&D budgets, the need to modernise and innovate. Bob was not stuck in old fashioned union land, despite his speeches, he was a breath of fresh air. I'll miss him.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, March 12, 2014

  • A man of integrity.

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    Thoreauwasright

    Thursday, March 13, 2014

  • I liked him and admired the way he stood up for his beliefs. RIP bob.

    Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

  • If it wasn't for Bob Crow the privatised rail companies would have by now youths on work experience driving the trains.....whatever you may think of him he did a lot to maintain or improve safety standards on the railways in the face of employers eager to save money by cutting corners and getting rid of staff.

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    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

  • Blimey, this is a first. Me and Larson agreeing on something.

    Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

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