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Bosses have raked in millions while workers were most like to die, Burgon tells RMT conference

BOSSES have made millions out of the Covid-19 pandemic while low-paid key workers were the most likely to die from the virus, Labour MP Richard Burgon told RMT's conference in Leeds today.

Mr Burgon, who is secretary of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs and represents the Leeds East constituency, welcomed delegates to the city in which a forerunner of the RMT, the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, was founded 150 years ago.

“Since then, many things have changed,” he said, “some for the better, but some more recently for the worse.

“Some remain: the same conflict of interest between bosses and workers, profits and people and, now, the planet.”

He said that over the last 20 months of the pandemic “it was low-paid workers most likely to lose their lives during the crisis while bosses made huge sums of money.

“Key workers have got us through. We cannot do without them. But we can do without the private profiteers who are sucking money out of our public services.”

Backing the campaign for public transport to be taken back into public ownership, he said: “RMT has made it clear we need a new deal for public-owned green public transport run for people, not profit.

“It is an opportunity for workers. Pursuit of profit cannot hold us back.”

Quoting the union’s late general secretary Bob Crow, who died in March 2014, Mr Burgon said: “If you fight, you will not always win: if you do not fight, you will always lose.”

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