Chingford Aslef, RMT and CWU join together for a photo, 1.10.22
Chingford Aslef, RMT and CWU join together for a photo, 1.10.22

A Midlands RMT member

The reballot of members in order to continue our dispute has now opened.

Rail union RMT has now officially been in dispute with the Train Operating Companies (TOCs), collectively represented by the Rail Delivery Group, since June 2022.

The post-pandemic change to rail-usage patterns, and a temporary drop in passenger numbers, provided the rail bosses with the excuse and the opportunity to take on the powerful railway trade unions and drive through detrimental changes to our jobs, terms and conditions.

But so far we have fought back. And although the Tories’ anti-union laws require us to ballot our members every six months, we have so far returned rock solid ‘yes’ votes and smashed the 50% turnout threshold every time.

Since we began our battle, the employers have rowed back and dropped a few of their demands, and have upped the pay offer a bit. But what we are left with is still a real-terms pay cut, which is to be paid for by selling off our hard-won terms and conditions.

So it is clear that the campaign so far has had an effect, but we are still not there yet. If we are to win an acceptable pay rise and protect precious jobs and conditions, we must once again deliver a strong ‘yes’ vote.

We must then reinvigorate our campaign among the union membership and reps, to ensure that we are prepared to intensify our fightback.

We must also urgently seek joint meetings of our National Executive Committee with the executive of Aslef, whose members are striking on 30 September and 4 October, and other rail unions, in order to coordinate our strike action for maximum effect and name fresh strike dates. We should also seek to coordinate with unions across all sectors who are fighting for their members.

We cannot wait for Starmer’s Labour to save us from Tory cuts – Labour won’t commit to taking the £2 billion of railway cuts off the table. This is a once-in-a-generation dispute which we cannot afford to lose.