Reports and Campaigns
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Arriva Trains Wales - strike called off
RMT train drivers working for Arriva Trains Wales (ATW) were planning a second day of strike action on 4 February as part of their campaign for fair pay. ATW drivers, who are amongst the worst-paid in the UK, have been offered a below-inflation basic pay rise of 3.7% this year and 4% next year.
But now their union, RMT, has been forced by the anti trade union laws to call the strike off and reballot the workers.
Management is demanding a significant worsening of working conditions in return for further small increases. RMT leaders have called the offer a "pay cut loaded with strings" and are calling for a 5.1% basic pay rise.
The strike would have coincided with the Wales-v-England Six-Nations match, when 74,000 fans will descend on Cardiff. A leaked document, which ATW management disowned, predicted "major crowd control issues" if the action went ahead. Management sought an injunction to declare the strike illegal.
RMT members are resolute, reports Cardiff Rail branch secretary Greg Harrison, and will be looking for a strategy to win their dispute.
As an initial step, action could be coordinated with Aslef, and from there train drivers could add their voice to the call for a one-day public sector general strike, including the privatised public services.
The trade union movement will also have the opportunity of developing a political wing by supporting Trade Unionist and Socialist candidates in the upcoming Welsh Assembly elections.