Socialist Worker

Rail workers round-up

Issue No. 1947

The long march begins

This Saturday sees the start of the RMT transport union’s mobile demonstration and campaign against the privatisation of our railways. It will visit 15 British cities, for meetings and events.

Since privatisation £10 billion — that could have been used to improve safety, customer service and terms and conditions for staff — has been taken out by private firms.

Along the route of the march we will be asking current MPs and candidates whether they support renationalisation of the railways and a publicly run, transport system for Britain.

Find out when we’re coming to your area and get involved.

Ross Marshall

Socialist Worker will be carrying Ross Marshall’s diary of the march over the next three weeks. For more information phone Ross on 07944 083 956, or go to www.rmt.org.uk


Glasgow underground

SUBWAY STAFF in Glasgow struck for 24 hours last week and were due out for 48 hours on Friday and Saturday of this week in a dispute over pay.

A further four-day strike is planned by the T&G union from Friday 22 April.

Last week’s solid strike brought the network to a halt. Workers are angry over changes to their conditions, including holiday rosters.

They also fear that management will introduce a two-tier workforce, with new starters on £1,000 less than current staff.


London Underground

Tube workers on the London Underground have threatened to shut the Waterloo & City line unless management deals with safety problems.

A report found that there was arsenic, and other poisonous chemicals, on the track bed. Workers immediately started refusing to work on grounds of health and safety.

Tony Collins


Freightliner

WORKERS AT Freightliner have received an improved pay offer following a one-day strike last week by about 100 road motor drivers at depots around Britain.

“Reports from the picket lines indicated that the strike bit deeply and showed the determination of our members to win,” said RMT general secretary Bob Crow.

Further strikes had been planned for Tuesday and Thursday of this week on the back of a 69 to one vote for action.


Merseyrail

MERSEYRAIL GUARDS in the RMT union struck solidly on Friday and Saturday of last week.

Train drivers refused to cross picket lines and no trains ran in Merseyside during the strike.

The dispute is over Merseyrail bosses scuppering a settlement over the introduction of a 35-hour week dispute by placing a number of barriers in the way of an agreement, including the withdrawal of compensation for rest days falling during leave.

What use is a shorter working week when guards are being asked to forfeit four days leave, asked striking guards.

Pickets at Birkenhead Central station were angry and determined to win the dispute. One picket said, “This is our day today.”

Strikers planned to support the RMT’s rail against privatisation march from Glasgow to London. They also showed solidarity with the victimised Liverpool social workers.

Several planned to attend the social workers’ public meeting on Wednesday of this week.

Tom Jenkins

A Merseyrail worker adds, “The 48 hour strike brought all Merseyrail services to a complete standstill, coinciding with the Grand National.

“A victory in this dispute would represent a significant achievement across the rail industry.”


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News
Sat 16 Apr 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1947
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