Socialist Worker

High court tramples on signallers' democratic vote

Issue No. 2195

The High Court has granted Network Rail an injunction against next week’s planned strike by signalling workers in the RMT transport union. The four-day strike by thousands of maintenance workers in the RMT and TSSA unions against the slashing of 1,500 safety-critical jobs from Tuesday is still to go ahead, as far as union activists are aware.

The case shows how the Tories’ anti-union laws, which Labour has retained, make it incredibly difficult to hold a legal ballot.

Network Rail took the RMT to court over “discrepancies” in the ballot of signalling workers. This was based on the fact that the union did not know the exact location and details of every workplace that its members are based at, which are signal boxes dotted across the country.

Signalling workers are angry at the decision, which is another assault on workers’ democratic right to withdraw their labour.

This is just the latest court decision against trade unions. Other strikes called off or forced to be delayed have included ones on British Airways, London Underground and Metroline buses in London.

The union should defy the court’s decision and other trade unionists must show their solidarity with next week’s strikes.

Update:: The unions have announced that all Network Rail strike action for next week has now been called off, and that they will reballot their memberships at the company for strike action.

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Thu 1 Apr 2010, 16:22 BST
Issue No. 2195
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