Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Unions out in force at Crow funeral

The trade union movement paid tribute to RMT leader Bob Crow today as thousands turned out at his funeral.

Trade unionists lined the route from near the 52-year-old's house in Woodford, east London, to the City of London Cemetary in Manor Park.

Mr Crow's coffin was carried in a horse-drawn carriage, in traditional East End style.

The four horses were dressed in blue and white plumage, the colours of Mr Crow's beloved Millwall Football Club.

Hundreds of colourful union banners were displayed along the route, as well as flags from groups such as the Stop The War Coalition, which Mr Crow supported.

A huge banner at the gates of the cemetery, held up by Rail Maritime and Transport union members, read: "Bob Crow 1961 - 2014. RIP Legend".

Posters featuring a photograph of Mr Crow were also displayed at Tube stations.

Paul Kenny, leader of the GMB union, one of many general secretaries paying tribute, said: "Bob was a remarkable fighter for working people, but he was also passionate about protecting the health and safety of the public, which he never got any credit for.

"He was a funny, witty, interesting man, and the union movement - in fact the whole country - will be a duller place without him."

RMT president Peter Pinkney said: "Bob's death leaves a massive gap in the lives of everyone who was fortunate enough to know him and represents a huge loss to the trade union and labour movement both in this country and internationally, and specifically, for the RMT members Bob led with such stunning success."

The funeral service was private, at the request of Mr Crow's family.

Tributes to Mr Crow will also be paid on May Day, with a special event being planned in London.

Left wing groups also turned out to pay their respects, including the Socialist Party and National Shop Stewards Network, as well as groups within unions representing gays and lesbian workers.

Pictures of Mr Crow were displayed on some banners, including one of him wearing a trademark RMT baseball hall and t-shirt.

RMT members travelled from across the UK to attend, many carrying small posters bearing the message: "Bob Crow, our leader, our legend, farewell comrade."

Others threw roses at the hearse as it passed by, or started cheering and applauding.

There were emotional scenes as the hearse arrived at the cemetery gates.

Flowers were thrown at the coffin, everyone cheered and applauded and some sang the Internationale, a left-wing anthem.

Others chanted:" The workers united will never be defeated."

Members of Mr Crow's family were clearly moved by the huge turn out from colleagues, unions activists and groups including CND which the RMT leader used to support.

Blue and white-coloured flowers in the shape of footballs were among the floral tributes on the hearse


From Belfast Telegraph