Socialist Worker

Transport round up: Strikers are ‘rock solid and united’ against unsafe railways

Issue No. 2670

Bus workers in the Unite union protested last week at City Hall to demand that Transport for London takes action to tackle fatigue among London bus drivers

Bus workers in the Unite union protested last week at City Hall to demand that Transport for London takes action to tackle fatigue among London bus drivers (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Workers on the South Western Railway line stood “rock solid and united” during their four-day strike which began on Friday last week.

And workers on the Merseyrail network struck on Tuesday of this week, with a further walkout set for Thursday.

The RMT union members on the two networks are fighting the imposition of driver only operated (DOO) services, which threaten their jobs and passenger safety.

It appeared that strikes had won workers assurances of job and safety guarantees last September.

But walkouts resumed in June after bosses reneged on their promises.

The action comes as research by the RMT revealed that South Western is due to receive a “taxpayer funded strike bailout” of at least £32 million.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said, “Thanks to the generosity of the government South Western Railways don’t lose a penny from strikes and therefore have little incentive to negotiate seriously.”


One strike on, one strike off

Workers on the Tyne and Wear Metro were set to stage a 48-hour strike from Friday.

The RMT union members are fighting for a pay regrading that would see skilled engineers, electrical and mechanical workers paid the same as technicians.

The RMT union has suspended walkouts on the Central and Victoria Tube lines following talks with Transport for London.

Workers were due to strike for 24 hours from Tuesday of this week in two separate disputes.

The union says further negotiations are needed on the Victoria Line.

Workers are fighting unlawful deductions of wages, enforced overtime and noise levels on the underground line.

The RMT said the Central line dispute is now resolved.

Workers were battling chronic understaffing, imposition of rostas, management bullying and a host of other issues.


Cleaners fight to sweep away poverty pay on track

Outsourced workers at Network Rail descended on Liverpool Lime Street station to demand “justice for cleaners” on Friday last week.

The cleaners, who are RMT union members, are outsourced to Mitie and are paid below the living wage of £9 an hour.

Workers drummed up support by leafletting commuters and encouraging them to sign a petition which boasts over 60,000 signatures.

The campaign said, “Mitie Group paid nearly £49 million to its shareholders in dividends in the last five years.

“But it won’t pay its cleaners the real living wage.

“Network Rail is a multimillion pound public company that should not be allowing its contractors to pay poverty wages.”


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