Greg Tucker 1953-2008

Mark Fischer expresses the left's loss

On behalf of the Provisional Central Committee of the Communist Party of Great Britain I wish to expresses our sorrow at the death of comrade Greg Tucker. He died at St Thomas’s hospital on April 6 after suffering from malignant throat cancer for over a year.

Greg was a leading member of the International Socialist Organisation and an outstanding trade union militant, first in the NUR and from 1990 in the merged RMT.

The comrade gained a degree of notoriety in the 1980s, when as a Lambeth councillor, he was expelled from the Labour Party along with 12 other ‘hard left’ rebels.

As part of the ‘turn to industry’ Greg got himself a job on British Rail in 1980, working first as a member of platform staff at Vauxhall station then becoming a guard. In 1988 he was part of the first tranche of guards to become train drivers.

Throughout his time on the rails he remained a firm advocate of industrial unionism. He was at the forefront of many high-profile disputes with the employers. He was, for example, sacked in June 2001 on bogus charges by South West Trains and after a long campaign reinstated by an employment tribunal. In 1999 he stood for the post of RMT general secretary, gaining around a third of the votes.

CPGB comrades got to know Greg during the time of the Socialist Alliance. We were glad to support him as an SA candidate in the 2001 general election. Greg spoke from the platform at our annual Communist University on a number of occasions.

Invariably, our comrades found him friendly, refreshingly frank, with a genuine working class partisan’s lack of sectarian narrowness in his dealings with those from political trends different to his own. He always took his viewpoint from a global perspective. In many ways he was more a member of the Paris-based Fourth International than its affiliate in Britain.

We send our heartfelt condolences to his comrades in the ISG, RMT and the broader movement, as well as to his friends and family. He was a fine communist and his death is a real loss to the whole left.

Funeral: 12.30pm, Tuesday April 16, West Norwood Crematorium and Cemetery, Norwood Road, London SE27