Socialist Worker

New rounds of rail strikes in battle for passenger safety

by Sarah Bates
Issue No. 2626

Picketing in Carlisle

Picketing in Carlisle (Pic: RMT)


Train guards have announced a new programme of strikes over safety and jobs.

They are fighting the rollout of driver-only operated (DOO) trains. These endanger passengers.

The RMT union is engaged in a long-running battle to keep safety-trained staff on trains, and has announced more strikes on South Western Railway.

Workers on the line—one of the key commuter links into London—have been fighting since October 2017 against bosses’ plans.

They plan a five-day walkout from Tuesday 23 October.

Strikers are then set to follow this with action on every Saturday in November.

The industrial action is due to coincide with walkouts from train guards on the Northern line. Workers on this network, owned by Arriva Rail North, were set to strike for the next three Saturdays.

They struck last Saturday—their 31st day of action.

The RMT is organising public meetings on the fight for passenger safety in Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle. For details go to rmt.org.uk/news

Workers on Abellio Scotrail last week launched an indefinite ban on overtime and rest day working in a dispute over rest day working payments.

Some grades, such as drivers, get enhanced payments, some don’t.

Over 2,000 workers in the RMT union are involved.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said, “It cannot be right that the company seems to value one group of workers over another.

“All staff should be treated equally and fairly—and that is all that the union is calling for.”


Tube drivers on the Piccadilly line are set to strike for 24 hours from midday on Wednesday 7 November.

They are fighting over a host of issues that endanger workers and passengers.

Drivers want bosses to hire more workers and tackle the bullying culture from management in depots.

RMT union members have already staged a 48-hour walkout from 26 September, followed by a further five-hour strike on 28 September.

In the last wave of action, transport bosses called fresh negotiations while the drivers were still on strike.

Now more action can force them to concede.


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