'PEOPLE ARE up for striking. Everyone is pissed off with everything. We're sick of being treated like skivvies and dumped on.' So said an angry driver on North Western Trains in the run up to the first of a series of 24 hour strikes, due to take place on Christmas Eve. The second strike day is set for 4 January, with others set to follow.
The drivers voted overwhelmingly for strike action after rejecting a 3.6 percent pay deal that had strings attached to it. In an impressive vote, 100 percent of RMT union members and 91 percent of Aslef union members voted for strikes. The strike will hit hard in the holiday season, with people travelling home for Christmas. The stations affected include Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria, Chester, Blackpool, Barrow-in-Furness and Wigan Wallgate.
The North Western driver told Socialist Worker, 'All the issues are feeding into each other, including the Paddington disaster. We have a separate dispute over a driver at Manchester Piccadilly who was sacked over his sickness record. People are really angry over that.'