'Management say they are digging in. But so are we, and the feeling is mounting.' That's what Mark Russell, an RMT union guards' rep on Arriva trains, told Socialist Worker. Arriva bosses last week cancelled rest day working in a vindictive move designed to hit workers' pay packets between strikes.
'That means trains will be cancelled even without strikes,' says Mark Russell. 'And management have the cheek to claim we are hurting the travelling public. 'These antics have just hardened people's resolve. That's shown in the votes by non-guards in the RMT and TSSA.'
Arriva can be beaten. So can the other train operating companies-including SWT, which has tried to intimidate its workers. Strikes are planned by drivers on ScotRail (one on Friday of this week and three more over the next three weeks).
Drivers on the tube have voted for action from midday on Tuesday of next week to midday on Thursday, and again from 26 to 28 March. Drivers and guards on First North Western are voting for strikes over management abuse of disciplinary procedures.
Silverlink guards are voting for strikes over pay. Each of these companies is vulnerable to hard-hitting action. There is also an increasing mood for linking the disputes into a national campaign.
Key steps toward that involve escalating action where it has already been voted for, building maximum solidarity from other sections, and spreading the mood of resistance to other companies. nArriva strikers have called a mass rally at Newcastle Central station on Friday of this week at 10am. They are calling on other trade unionists and supporters to attend.