Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1044/29165

From The Socialist newspaper, 29 May 2019

Wales train fleet workers to strike against transfer to private company

Transport for Wales train, photo Jeremy Segrott/CC

Transport for Wales train, photo Jeremy Segrott/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Ross Saunders, Socialist Party Wales

RMT transport union members in train fleet maintenance in Wales are planning to strike against a threat to their job security, pensions, pay and terms and conditions.

A resounding 98% voted in favour of strike action on an 80% turnout, which should give confidence to union members everywhere that with the right approach it is possible to defeat the Tory anti-union laws.

Members will begin an overtime ban on the 3 June and the first 48-hour strike on 8 June because new franchise holder 'Transport for Wales' wants to transfer the workforce to contractors, especially Stadler and Spanish firm Construcciones y Auxiliar Ferrocarriles (CAF), rather than include them in the firm employing all other rail workers.

CAF is currently involved in locking out workers in New Zealand. Union members here are correct to fight against being handed over to companies like CAF without assurances and the whole trade union movement should rally to support them.

The union campaigned for the service to be taken into public ownership and said it was "appalled and angry" that the Labour-run Welsh Government not only handed the franchise to private company KeolisAmey (which run it through the Transport for Wales front in order to give the impression that it is publicly owned) but also opted to privatise the Network Rail workforce too.

It's now trying to outsource this group of workers to subcontractors without guarantees on job security and conditions.

Underinvestment

The RMT is in a powerful position. Thanks to decades of underinvestment by the private companies that run Wales' railways (particularly the hated previous franchise holder, Arriva Trains Wales), the trains and track are far below the standard needed for a reliable modern rail system and rely on maintenance workers to keep the literally creaking infrastructure moving.

Last October - just a month into Transport for Wales' tenure - a third of trains were put out of action by bad weather. Maintenance workers are angry that their reward for the extra effort they put in to get the trains moving again last autumn - including during rugby internationals when 100,000 people can travel to the city - is being rewarded a few months later with an attack on their job security.

Arriva had the highest subsidy per passenger per mile of any rail company in the UK and one of the worst records on cancellations and delays. Passengers partied in an event called through social media when Arriva's tenure was over, but they are now accusing Transport for Wales of having "gone Arriva on us".

It's a far cry from Transport for Wales chief executive James Price's claim that "the service will be unrecognisably better for people" and "one of the best in the world."

The problems on our railways won't be solved unless we tap in to the experience, knowledge and expertise of railway workers who know the business best, and let them control and manage the service in conjunction with passenger representatives and the wider working class in a publicly owned railway system.

No problems will be solved by handing them over to the most profit-hungry of private companies, who have proved time and again their willingness to sacrifice the interests of passengers, the workforce and service for short-term gain. Everyone who travels on the railways should support the action of RMT members: they're fighting for us all.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 29 May 2019:


EU elections

Tories smashed in Euros - Now get them out

Euro elections 2019 - Across Europe

Euro-elections in Scotland and Wales


International socialist news and analysis

India: Modi victory - Socialist fightback needed


Climate change

The Green New Deal we need is socialism

Climate change strikes continue to resonate


Socialist Party news and analysis

Blistering UN report condemns Tory austerity - workers' action can end it

Them & us


Workplace news and analysis

Save steel jobs: Demand socialist nationalisation

PCS conference: defeats for union officialdom and steps taken to rebuild a fighting left opposition

Determined Sellafield nuclear workers' industrial action continues

Kirkby factory workers walk out over unfair dismissal

Wales train fleet workers to strike against transfer to private company


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Trump out - Tories out!

Fight the far-right - fight for socialist policies

Teignmouth: hands off our community hospital!

Birmingham Pride - revitalising political struggle


Opinion

The unheard voices of Gosport

Obituary: Pauline Dunlop (1947-2019)

Obituary: John Boots (1942-2019)


 

Home   |   The Socialist 29 May 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Wales:

triangleWelsh government must block NHS privatisation or face workers' action

triangleWales NSSN: Support the Ford Bridgend workers - No Closure

triangleNationalise Ford to prevent closure

triangleWelsh train fleet workers' victory

Strike:

triangleAcademy strike - standing up to 'bullying' management forces climbdown

triangleBradford: Unison members strike to stay 100% NHS

triangleAngry Usdaw members strike at Sainsbury's distribution centre over sick pay cut

triangleLondon Arriva bus drivers vote for strike action over bullying and workload

Transport:

triangleCoventry says no to congestion charge

triangleManchester: RMT transport workers' conference fringe meeting

triangleBluestar bus drivers' strike over pay

Rail:

triangleThem & Us

triangleSalisbury South Western Rail strikers determined

Trains:

triangleFantastic RMT London Underground victory

RMT:

triangleSouth Western Railway staff strike for safety

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

10/7/19

Lancashire

Victory for Stagecoach bus strikers!

9/7/19

Bradford

Bradford: Unison members strike to stay 100% NHS

9/7/19

Plymouth

Academy strike - standing up to 'bullying' management forces climbdown

9/7/19

Liverpool

Residents, housing activists and pensioners mobilise to stop eviction

3/7/19

Socialist Party

Socialist Party secures new offices

3/7/19

NUS

Lincoln Uni NUS disaffiliation: a question of on-campus democracy

3/7/19

Cumbria

Carlisle Labour/Lib Dem coalition cuts care home beds

3/7/19

NSSN

Sick of your boss? Join a union! Come to NSSN conference

3/7/19

PCS

New group launched to fight general secretary election

3/7/19

College

Stourbridge: Keep our college!

3/7/19

The Socialist

Sell the Socialist and take out an e-subscription

3/7/19

Coventry

Coventry says no to congestion charge

3/7/19

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity Day: Linking up oppressed people's struggles

3/7/19

Barking

Angry Barking residents protest outside sales office

3/7/19

Birmingham

Birmingham uni workers strike against terms and conditions attacks

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999