Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone led tributes to Bob Crow saying he fought for his members despite being demonised by the right wing press.
The rail union leader, 52, died, suddenly in the early hours this morning.
Speaking of his shock at the news, he said: "I assumed he would be at my funeral not me at his."
He told Sky News: "He fought really hard for his members. The only working-class people who still have well-paid jobs in London are his members."
He said Mr Crow was "broadly right on most key issues" and that if more people had fought for the conditions of the working classes "this country would be a much better place."
"With the passage of time people will come to see that people like Bob Crow did a very good job."