Socialist Worker

EWS workers: 'Our action must bite'

Issue No. 1836

TRAIN DRIVERS working for freight company English Welsh & Scottish Railway (EWS) plan to strike this Saturday and three subsequent Saturdays. We have become increasingly angry at management's refusal to hold proper talks about pay, the implementation of a 35-hour week, and pensions. At present EWS drivers are on the lowest rates for any rail company.

In ballots, 75 percent of EWS drivers and 84 percent of EWS International drivers (who go through the Channel Tunnel) voted for action. We are sick of waiting for a decent deal. We need to make the action bite and force the company to pay up.

If striking one day a week does not produce quick results then we should be looking to escalate very quickly. Otherwise we can have a long battle where people can get to think we are not breaking through.

CONDUCTORS at Arriva Trains Northern marked the anniversary of their battle for decent pay last week. The workers have been fighting for one year, and have had over 20 separate strikes, against a hard-nosed management that has refused to pay them a decent rise.

Management's latest offer is for just 4 percent with a £250 lump sum. The workers' RMT union has suspended all strikes and is about to conduct a ballot of all its Arriva Trains Northern members on whether to accept the offer. Local union reps are recommending a no vote on the offer. One worker told Socialist Worker, 'This offer is just pig-headedness on management's behalf. We need to reject this and rebuild our resolve to show the company that we won't be treated like this.'

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Sat 1 Feb 2003, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1836
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