Birmingham New st RMT picket. Photo: Birmingham SP
Birmingham New st RMT picket. Photo: Birmingham SP

Midlands RMT member

Around 120 members turned out on a cold Monday night in Birmingham on 23 January to hear an update on the national rail dispute from the RMT union leadership.

There was a clear fighting mood and every member was angry that, after nearly 20 days of strike action and overtime bans, the employers are still determined to strip us of our terms and conditions.

We were addressed by both the national president and Midlands national executive member, before general secretary Mick Lynch briefed the meeting on where we were up to with the dispute.

Mick made it clear that the latest atrocious proposals from the employers’ Rail Delivery Group were totally unacceptable and should be rejected. There was some debate over whether to even put it to a referendum first.

Mick added that he thinks there needs to be coordination of all the strikes. He announced that he will be writing to the general council of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) calling for them to organise a 24-hour general strike, which was greeted with enthusiastic applause.

The RMT should help lead the way, by taking action with the teachers and other unions on 15 March, Budget Day. That would land a huge blow against the Tories on the day the government announces its budget.

A Socialist Party member proposed the date from the floor of the meeting and met with a good response from other RMT members.

The sooner we tell the employers to bin their most recent offer and we name the next strike dates the better.