Socialist Worker

Transport round up: South Western Railway strikes are coming down the line

by Sarah Bates
Issue No. 2694

South Western strikers outside Waterloo

South Western strikers outside Waterloo (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Bosses at the South Western Railway (SWR) are braced for another round of strikes as workers battle to protect their jobs and passenger safety.

Train guards, members of the RMT union, plan a 24-hour strike from 10am on Monday of next week and further one from 10am on Thursday of next week.

They are fighting the imposition of driver only operated (DOO) trains.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said, “We are appalled by management’s bullying and harassment tactics in their attempt to get our members to return to work.

“The company’s constant barrage of lengthy letters every time our guard members take legal and legitimate industrial action is intimidating, degrading, humiliating and offensive.”

He added that workers had shown an “incredible amount of solidarity” during 27 days of strikes in December.

Trade unionists should show solidarity to the SWR workers on the picket line.

nworkers at the Rail Gourmet catering firm are set to strike for 24 hours on Wednesday of next week.

The RMT union members at the Paddington depot in west London are fighting against a host of attacks.

They include rostering practices, the incorrect payment of allowances and bonuses and the failure to replace faulty equipment used by driver members.


Underground strike looms as talks go down the tubes

Huge strikes could sweep the London Underground as workers in the RMT and Aslef unions begin ballots for strikes.

It could see over 10,000 workers strike to lift the cap on pay—and the campaign for a massive yes vote is already underway.

Unions have been locked in negotiations with Transport for London bosses for over a year. Mick Cash, RMT general secretary said, “RMT reps are angry and frustrated that London Underground have now stalled that process and failed to come up with an offer.

“London is a wealthy business centre and those staff who work round the clock to keep the city moving deserve their fair share.”


Resilient TfL strikers warn that they will not go away

Hundreds of workers at Transport for London (TfL) took to the picket lines on Friday of last week.

Around 300 workers on Dial-a-Ride buses and 300 other TfL workers staged their second 24-hour walkout in a fight for higher pay. They include revenue protection officers, road enforcement officers, compliance officers and others.

The Unite union members picketed outside TfL’s Palestra House offices in Southwark, south London. They shut down Dial-a-Ride depots across the capital.

Strikers were boosted by Woolwich Ferry workers who walked out in a separate dispute over pay and terms and conditions on the same day. Bosses at TfL imposed a 1 percent pay offer that had been overwhelmingly rejected by workers.

Simon McCartney, a Unite regional officer, said, “TfL has bulldozed through a derisory pay increase for TfL workers. It means a pay cut in real terms for essential transport workers in an expensive city.

“TfL think that we’re just quietly going to go away.

“But I can tell you now that we will reballot our members and keep coming back, month after month if we have to.”

Unite members on Dial-a-Ride and the other TfL workers plan further walkouts on Friday 27 March and Friday 24 April.


Baggage handlers’ fightback

Specialist baggage handlers at Heathrow Airport in west London have launched a wave of strikes over pay.

The Unite union members, who are employed by Global Baggage Solutions, began an eight-day walkout on Monday.

They plan two further eight?day walkouts from 14 March and 26 March.

Unite is demanding that bosses agree to pay at least the London Living Wage of £10.75 an hour. Workers are angry that Global Baggage Solutions made no pay offer for 2019 and offered just 32p an hour more for 2020.

Some workers are currently on as little as £9.94 an hour—even though Heathrow Airport portrays itself as a living wage employer. The workers find bags that have been reported lost by passengers.


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