Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has hailed Bob Crow as "a fighter and a force" after the union leader died in the early hours of this morning aged 52.
Sad news. Bob Crow was a fighter and a force. Condolences to his family and friends.
The RMT leader was demonised by Fleet Street, often loathed by commuters, but adored by his members.Read the full story ›
Labour leader Ed Miliband paid tribute to RMT union leader Bob Crow, who died today aged 52. Writing on Twitter, Mr Miliband said he respected his "tireless commitment to fighting for the men and women in his union".
Bob Crow was a major figure in the labour movement and was loved and deeply respected by his members.
I didn’t always agree with him politically but I always respected his tireless commitment to fighting for the men and women in his union.
In one of his last television interviews, RMT union leader Bob Crow spoke to ITV News Meridian on Saturday at a gathering of union members in Brighton to mark the 30th anniversary of the Miners' Strike.
- 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, 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.
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.
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.
The unions Unison and the London region of the Fire Brigades Union have paid tribute to the late RMT union boss Bob Crow:
Very sad news about Bob Crow - RIP a union leader who did the best for his members
Bob Crow has died, aged 52. Absolutely devastating news. The thoughts of London FBU are with Bob's family and all our comrades in the RMT.
Devastated at news of Bob Crowe's death. Great Trade Unionist,Railway worker and leader of RMT. Very sad, all sympathy to family and Union.
Bob Crow was a working class hero. That's something to be.