Socialist Worker

National Express: A united fight for decent pay

Issue No. 2164

Workers at the National Express East Anglia train company are stepping up their fight over pay, conditions and reorganisation with their third 48-hour strike set for Thursday and Friday of this week.

Members of the RMT and Aslef transport unions struck solidly for the second time last week. Workers in the TSSA union are set to join them this week.

The strikers are defiant in the face of a concerted media attack, which is spewing out the bosses’ lies.

An Aslef member in Southend told Socialist Worker, “We are now halfway through our first block of strikes and the dispute is no closer to resolution. Management is stalling and not addressing the fundamental issues.

“The strike has been very solid in my depot, with no-one going into work and good pickets. It’s great to see the RMT and Aslef unions striking together. The TSSA are set to join us this week.

“In spite of all the media attacks on us we have had such a high level of support. Royal Mail workers, bus drivers, and the general public have all come up to us and said good luck.

“We’ve also had the people whose bible is the Daily Mail coming up too. They’ve told us that we’re lucky to have a job in the current climate. That makes it sound as if 95 percent of the population is unemployed.

“When we say to them that they should join a union too, they tend to go away.

“Management and the media only tell half truths about the dispute. They have claimed that we’re all on £42,000. Don’t get me wrong, we’re on good money, but that’s way over what most people earn.

“They also say that we were offered a 1 percent pay rise, but they forget to mention the strings attached that would have meant a pay cut of £500.

“The company manages to find the money to give the bosses bonuses. It only runs out for us.”

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Article information

Tue 11 Aug 2009, 18:46 BST
Issue No. 2164
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