RMT MEMBERS on Arriva Trains Northern struck for the 22nd time in their long-running pay dispute on Saturday. 'We have issued four more strike dates for next month,' one member of the strike committee told Socialist Worker, '21, 23, 24 and 31 December. 'That is our answer to Arriva's attempt to break us. Our strikes in December are aimed to hit Arriva hard. But we will need financial support from other trade unionists to sustain such strikes so close to Christmas.'
One striker from Newcastle told Socialist Worker, 'I believe we should just go all-out and have done with it. 'Not everyone thinks that, for sure. But I've become convinced of it. We would need to raise solidarity to be able to do it - but the union has got to find a way to put the squeeze on Arriva. At the very least we should do seven or eight days like the firefighters. I know it's been going on for over ten months, but the union can still address this.'
Arriva is now the longest-running dispute in the history of the British railways. That is testimony to the determination and courage of Arriva workers. Other rail workers, such as drivers on First North Western, are already coming up against the kind of hard-nosed tactics management has adopted at Arriva.
Arriva workers need support. All rail workers need a united fight by the rail unions against the train operating companies.
Donations to the strike fund are urgently needed. Send c/o RMT, Unity House, 39 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD.