Socialist Worker

Workers set to take action on rail networks

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2561

Workers on Northern Rail are set to strike

Workers on Northern Rail are set to strike (Pic: Ingy the Wingy/Wikimedia commons)


A series of walkouts were set to begin on three rail networks across England this weekend.

Around 2,000 workers are involved in disputes provoked by the Tories’ obsession with rail privatisation and profit.

RMT union members at Northern Rail were preparing for a three?day walkout starting this Saturday.

They are to be joined by fellow union members working at Merseyrail on the first day.

Next Monday RMT members at Southern rail join them—meaning all three networks are out.

All three disputes revolve around protecting safe and accessible rail travel for all.

Bosses want to introduce new trains, slash the role of train guards and heap sole safety responsibility on to drivers. Previous coordinated walkouts on the three networks have had a huge impact on services.

Conflate

Aslef union drivers on Southern are balloting again for strikes over the company’s attempt to conflate pay and changes to working practices, the union said. The ballot closes on 13 July.

The battle on Southern provides a warning to Northern and Merseyrail workers of how bosses will try to divide workers in different grades and unions.

The solidarity between RMT and Aslef members during the last strikes in the north must be built on.

Successive Tory transport ministers and officials at the Department for Transport have gone to war with the unions, using every means at their disposal to push through new changes. A key priority is to extend driver only operation of trains. Their plans must be stopped.

Everyone must back the unions resisting these attacks on safety and accessible travel for all.


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