Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1045/29212
From The Socialist newspaper, 5 June 2019
Welsh train fleet workers victory against transfer to private company
A Transport for Wales train, photo by Geof Sheppard/CC (Click to enlarge)
Ross Saunders, Socialist Party Wales
Train fleet maintenance workers in the RMT transport union are celebrating in South Wales after scoring what looks like a complete victory without having to fire a shot.
With a turnout of 80%, 98% of members voted in favour of strike action, sending an unignorable message to franchise-holder Transport for Wales Rail Services that workers would hit the company's profits unless it acceded to the union's demands.
Transport for Wales Rail Services - a trading name for giant corporations Keolis and Amey - capitulated immediately. Workers will no longer be outsourced and their pay, terms, conditions and pensions will receive the same protection as workers in the stations and on the trains in the franchise, as direct employees of Transport for Wales Rail Services.
The action shows that with the right tactics, carefully identifying the issues which the members feel most strongly, it is possible to defeat the Tory anti-union laws. It has boosted the confidence of workers in workplaces far removed from the railways and raised their sights as to what is possible if bold action is organised.
RMT assistant general secretary Steve Hedley explains: "We fought the Welsh Assembly [Government] which wanted to outsource our workers despite saying we'd bring them all in house. We've won that battle. And if trade unions get united - there's six million of us and we can pull a lot more people with us.
"We can defeat all the attacks we face. We can renationalise every service. We can make this a socialist country."
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 5 June 2019:
What we think
Corbyn must go on the offensive against the right with socialist policies
Tories deny dire poverty ...look around you! Boot out the Tories
Reverse the GP cuts
Theresa May admits tuition fees system is broken - but plans new attacks on students
Laughable research denies low-pay scandal
Them & Us
The Tiananmen Square massacre - 30 years on
Strike together to kick out the Tories!
Nationalise the threatened Glasgow 'Caley' railway depot
Welsh train fleet workers' victory
Fighting to stop school meals privatisation
UCU conference 2019: Preparing for struggle
Sexual harassment of LGBT+ workers shows need for unions to fight
Universal Credit workers' strike
International socialist news and analysis
India: Modi victory underlines need for real socialist fightback
Counter-revolution in Sudan
70 years since the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four: "But if there was hope, it lay in the proles"
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Tens of thousands march against Trump
Worcester libraries campaign victory
South Yorkshire: No to fire service cuts!
Protesters condemn Tory candidate
Step forward for campaign to reverse mobility pass cuts in Nottingham
LS26 campaign lobbies council to save their homes
Neglected Newham tenants demand action
Protest against Send education funding cuts
The Socialist 5 June 2019 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook