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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 January 2018

RMT strikes against driver-only operation continue

RMT picket line, Newcastle, 8th Jan 2018, photo E Brunskill

RMT picket line, Newcastle, 8th Jan 2018, photo E Brunskill   (Click to enlarge)

"Everyone passing understands that this strike is about rail safety" said one of the striking guards on 12 January.

The mood on the Northern Rail picket line after three days of strikes was rock solid. Also, the strikers were clearly buoyed up by the refusal of train drivers to cross picket lines in Manchester and Wigan.

Having seen first-hand the impact of privatisation on the rail networks the strikers also expressed concerns about ongoing privatisation of the NHS.

The view was expressed that although the Tory government has all the anti-trade union laws at its disposal, it is weak and divided. One of the strikers repeated the quote from the late Bob Crow: "If we all spit together we can drown the bastards!"

Elaine Brunskill, Bournemouth

RMT members on the picket line at Bournemouth were keeping warm and expressing their determined mood with the song 'Never cross a picket line.' They said they were getting support from people who were concerned about the safety of rail travel.

One picket said they wanted the assurance of a safety-critical guard which would guarantee accessibility for disabled and vulnerable people.

The guards are performing a function only a guard can do almost on a daily basis. Particularly on the late shift, many passengers on the Bournemouth line would have to alight at unmanned stations and some of them need the help of the guard.

Jane Ward, Hull

The strike was well supported throughout the week. A particular feature of the strikes was the support from the passing public.

Many of them linked the cuts to the guards on trains to other cuts, in particular in the NHS.

Socialist Party members supported the strike on all of the days and sold 17 copies of the Socialist to striking RMT members and members of the public.

Mick Whale

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In The Socialist 17 January 2018:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Carillion crisis: demand action to save jobs and services

NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

Victory! Trump's UK visit cancelled by fear of protests


What we think

Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy


International socialist news and analysis

Tunisia: explosion of protests against government austerity

Stop repression in Hong Kong and China


Workplace news and analysis

RMT strikes against driver-only operation continue

Mini-strike wave continues and intensifies

Hackney school cleaners strike

PCS union 2018 elections - nominate the left slate for a continued fighting leadership

Home care workers to strike

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

We must fight all council cuts!

No to the Woolwich monster block

Undercover policing legal challenge

Heating scandal on east London estate

Lobby pushes Liverpool council to oppose privatisation

Packed Newham meeting against academies

Socialist Party women's meeting brings together members to share experiences

Southern Socialist Party conference


Opinion

Opinion: foster care is work - carers deserve workers' rights

Opinion: British imperialism can take no credit in fight against Isis

Theatre: 'Young Marx' shows growth in great platform for his ideas


 

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Related links:

RMT:

triangleSouth Western rail guards hit 18 strike days

triangleTube workers walk out

trianglePrivate firms and toothless regulator to blame for trains chaos - nationalise rail now!

triangleStrikers ready to up the ante over rail safety

triangleGuards move closer to beating driver-only operation

Strikes:

triangleCoordinated catering and courier strikes prove potential for mass union mobilisation

triangleWho wants driver-only operation?

triangleHackney Socialist Party: The Match Girls strike

triangleEast Dunbartonshire council workers back further strikes

Rail:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleThem & Us

triangleRail rip-off reversal

Strike:

triangleSalford Socialist Party: The General Strike - the working class's most powerful weapon

triangle8,000 Glasgow workers plan historic mass strike

Travel:

triangleParents and campaigners protest Leeds disability travel cut

Train drivers:

triangleVirgin train workers ballot for strike action

Trains:

triangleGuards continue fight against driver-only operation

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