Socialist Worker

Tell the SNP it’s right to strike during Cop26

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2771

East Midlands Railways workers are also striking on Sundays

East Midlands Railways workers are also striking on Sundays


The Scottish National Party (SNP), which is sometimes thought to be a “radical” alternative, is telling rail workers not to strike.

The SNP is worried that strikes might hit the image of Scotland as the Cop26 ­international climate conference takes place in November.

So five SNP MSPs in Glasgow issued a statement saying that the public would not look kindly on disruption to the summit.

The MSPs said they were targeting what they call the “London based” leadership.

But the strike has been supported and led by workers in Scotland, not some remote group.

RMT union general secretary Mick Lynch said, “Having sat on their backsides for over six months while ScotRail ­workers have been ­fighting for basic pay justice and equality it is sheer bare-faced cheek for the SNP to suddenly issue disgraceful statements demanding that our members call off their disputes.”

Demands

Lynch has rightly told RMT members that strikes during Cop26 “would be an excellent way of highlighting” the union’s pay demands.

They would also ­emphasise the important role of public transport in reducing carbon emissions.

The pay issue is separate to the conductors’ dispute over payments for working on days off.

The pay fight has seen the ­cancellation of many ScotRail trains on Sundays since March.

RMT members are being recommended to back both a strike and action short of a strike “during the whole duration of the Cop26 conference”.

Meanwhile ScotRail ­conductors struck solidly again last Sunday, halting travel between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Unite union members who are engineers have now voted for strikes from mid-September over pay with ScotRail operator Abellio. Unless ScotRail workers win before, the strikes must go ahead during Cop26.

  • Bus drivers at Stagecoach East Midlands, members of the RMT union, are to take action over pay.

Workers at the Mansfield and Worksop depots will ban overtime and rest day ­working between 17 September and 1 October.


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