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Bob Crow dies: Friends and adversaries pay tribute

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: March 11, 2014

Bob Crow

Comments (10)

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

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

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.”

Bob Crow’s death shocked his fellow union leaders, and drew tributes from his adversaries as well.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This is shocking news. Bob was an outstanding trade unionist, who tirelessly fought for his members, his industry and the wider trade union movement.

“He was always a good friend and comrade to me. We will miss him, and our thoughts are with his family and the RMT at this difficult time.”

Matt Wrack, leader of the Fire Brigades Union, said: “Bob’s passing is very sad news and the thoughts of firefighters will be with his family.

“Bob was a good friend to me personally and to the Fire Brigades Union as a whole.

“He was a strong leader for the labour movement and he’ll be sorely missed by those who knew him.”

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “I’m shocked. Bob Crow was a fighter and a man of character.

“Whatever our political differences, and there were many, this is tragic news.

“Bob fought tirelessly for his beliefs and for his members.

“There can be absolutely no doubt that he played a big part in the success of the Tube, and he shared my goal to make transport in London an even greater success.

“It’s a sad day.”

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, 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.”

Sir Peter Hendy, London’s Transport Commissioner said: “We are shocked by this terribly sad and unexpected news. Our thoughts are with Bob Crow’s family, friends and all those he represented.”

Network Rail chief executive, Mark Carne, said: “On behalf of everyone at Network Rail, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Bob Crow’s friends and family, as well as the many thousands of RMT members on whose behalf he worked so tirelessly.

“Bob possessed a deep understanding of the rail industry and his contribution to its success was significant, in particular the focus he gave to working with Network Rail on improving passenger and workforce safety.”

Grahame Smith, Scottish TUC general secretary, said: “Everyone at STUC is deeply saddened by the passing of Bob Crow. Since 2002, Bob led his union with courage and distinction and will be greatly missed, not just by his own members but by trade unionists across Scotland and the whole of Britain.

“STUC echoes the request of RMT that everyone should respect the privacy of the friends and family of Bob Crow at this distressing time.”

Former mayor of London Ken Livingstone said Mr Crow fought for his members despite being demonised by the right wing press.

“He fought really hard for his members. The only working-class people who still have well-paid jobs in London are his members.”

Ukip leader Nigel Farage said: “I liked him a lot. He was what he was – fiercely patriotic and always good fun to be around. In an increasingly grey world, Bob really stood out and you need to have characters like that.

“We’ve been to the pub together, obviously, where he was very, very amusing especially when he’d switched off from trade union mode and was just having a chat.”

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  • 1RTEatsea  |  March 12 2014, 6:19PM

    And the angels heard he was traveling and went on strike!!!

    |   -2
  • Ax0l0tl  |  March 12 2014, 11:34AM

    "As a militant trade union we demand a standard of living for our members that enables them to share in the fine wines and fine times that the likes of David Cameron and his Old Etonian mates take for granted." Bob Crow RIP

    |   7
  • 1RTEatsea  |  March 12 2014, 8:43AM

    To summarise these posts. Please let us be honest. Never speak ill of the dead. But I will not miss this man. Nor the misery he created, especially for the normal working man in London. He enriched the lives of many of his members, but at a huge price to the society that enriched him.

    |   -6
  • DipStick  |  March 11 2014, 6:23PM

    @wringer: please indicate in my short comment below how I was "stooping low"? You're typical of those 'left of centre' who say things like "... I might not agree with what Mr Crow said but defend his right absolutely to say it ..." then accuse others of being "mean spirited" when they say something that YOU don't agree with. In that respect you are NOT "criticising and arguing with those that can argue back and defend themselves", you're just trying to shout down those you disagree with. DS

    |   -15
  • wringer  |  March 11 2014, 5:19PM

    Geofflane and Dipstick. I prefer to criticise and argue with those that can argue back and defend themselves. today is not the day for being so mean spirited. the man has just died and his friends and family deserve some quiet respect. as I said Geoff Lane, what will you be remembered for? and yes, I would have said the same thing when Margaret Thatcher died because I have values and wouldn't stoop so low as you are both clearly willing to do.

    |   7
  • DipStick  |  March 11 2014, 4:18PM

    And I guess the ones expressing how disgusted they are with any post that even implies any criticism of 'dear old Bob' said exactly the same about those who wanted to 'dance on the grave' of Maggie when she passed! DS

    |   -4
  • TheGeofflane  |  March 11 2014, 3:50PM

    Maybe 'wringer' (I use my real name) should read 'Private Eye' more often, learn about RMT fun and games including strikes defending 'workers' caught playing tennis while off work with ankle injuries and sacked. That one cost me, and thousands of others, a day's work. 'Morals' - what a joke. He ruthlessly used RMT's ability to hold US to ransom to enrich his few hundred workers at OUR expense. I am no Conservative. He got ordinary union members like me a bad name. Even now 'No Strike' deals will become law on the Underground to stop a few drivers (At Christmas, Cup Finals and other good bargaining opportunities) holding We the People to ransom. I'm sure you will 'defend my right absolutely' to hold that opinion.

    |   -7
  • Citzensmith  |  March 11 2014, 3:48PM

    Sad day for Mr Crow"s family,his union,RMT members ,the trade union movement . Shame he is not still around to reply to some of the disgusting posts that have been alowed on this site as one is sure he would have dne so. Paul Raybould Chairman Torbay and District Trades Council.

    |   10
  • nicold  |  March 11 2014, 3:09PM

    Yes Bob was 'all in it together' with his salary and expenses amounting to £145,000 a year, not forgetting his holiday in Brazil in a £250 a night hotel!

    |   -20
  • wringer  |  March 11 2014, 3:05PM

    ...and geofflane you will be remembered how by millions of people? I might not agree with what Mr Crow said but defend his right absolutely to say it. at least he had passion conviction and morals. what a bitter person you are. a man of 52 with family, friends and a good job is dead. shame on you for such a post.

    |   13