Funeral of Bob Crow to take place next week

The service on March 24th will be private, and a bigger event planned on May Day.

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Rail industry 'shocked' by untimely death of Bob Crow

Bob Crow was rightly recognised as one of the rail industry's most passionate voices, who championed the crucial role played by staff in delivering a safe service to passengers.

The whole industry will be shocked and saddened to hear of his untimely death. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this sad time.

– Martin Griffiths, Chairman of the Rail Delivery Group

Bob Crow: Played brinksmanship 'extremely well'

We had very different political perspectives but I always found him fair to deal with and I always understood both his energy and, quite frankly, his ability in representing his members.

Maybe I thought sometimes, especially as a transport minister, that he went a bit too far over the brink but he played brinksmanship sometimes extremely well."

Although we differed hugely on many issues we never got personally acrimonious. We could always engage.

– John Spellar, Labour's former Transport Minister

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Bob Crow: East London track worker to union leader

  • Born in east London, Crow moved to Essex as a toddler and left school at 16
  • His first job on London Underground was as an apprentice track worker
  • He became a representative for what was then the National Union of Railwaymen aged 20
  • He took part in a nationwide day of action in 1980 ordered by the TUC, and the next strike he took part in was on the Tube, the day after returning from his honeymoon in 1982
  • He took up his role as general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union in 2002, and led several strikes during his tenure, most recently last month in protest at closure of ticket offices.

He was not afraid of leading his members into industrial action, as he said himself:

I don't shirk from taking industrial action. Our job is to negotiate the best pay and conditions.

Industrial action is the last resort and you don't take it lightly - but when you start you don't finish until you have won. That's what I have been brought up on.

Bob Crow: Brilliant fighter for working-class justice

The convenor of the RMT parliamentary group, Labour MP John McDonnell, said:

In Bob Crow we have lost one of the finest trade union leaders and socialists our movement has known. I am devastated by this tragic news .

Left-wing Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, a member of the RMT parliamentary group, added:

I am very, very sad at the death of Bob Crow. He was a brilliant fighter for working-class justice and rights and a very dedicated opponent of racism and fascism whenever it reared its head.

It was a pleasure to work with him on anti-war campaigns as well as railway and trade union issues. I have never forgotten travelling to San Francisco with him to speak to the longshoremen's union or his coming to an event in Islington North to mark my 30 years as an MP. Solidarity and sympathy to his family.

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Union leader never afraid to fight for his members

Bob Crow, who was 52, was one of the most high-profile left-wing union leaders of his generation, and a passionate defender of the rights and working conditions of members of his RMT union.

Bob crow pictured with members of the RMT Union in 2005. Credit: Edmond Terakopian/PA Wire

Never afraid of controversy, he sparked 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.

TUC General Secretary: Bob was a good friend and comrade

TUC General Secretary, Frances O'Grady Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

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.”

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