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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 January 2022

East Mids rail conductors force concessions, train managers' dispute continues

East Midlands Railway guards on strike

East Midlands Railway guards on strike   (Click to enlarge)

Clare Wilkins, Nottingham Socialist Party

The long-running senior conductors' dispute on East Midlands Railway (EMR) Intercity is over. RMT members voted to accept management's offer in a ballot on the pay and contract dispute, and on 'multiple working'. The vote was more than two to one to accept. The terms will be implemented on 13 February, and reps will be working hard to get this done. Implementation should safeguard the grade for the future.

In the longer-running train managers' dispute over pay cuts and detrimental contracts for new staff, and reduced staffing on trains, members voted to reject EMR's proposals about 'multiple working'.

Talks took place with EMR at the end of October and agreement seemed to have been reached, but management would not provide an agreement in writing. Pressure was put on EMR including threats of further strike action on Sundays. A clear form of words was received from management just before Christmas when the union called strike action for New Year's Eve.

Both disputes were intimately linked to on-train staffing and passenger safety.

On-train staff take many formal and informal measures to keep passengers safe, sometimes at personal risk. Hearing these stories on the picket line, and seeing the commitment of the conductors and train managers to their passengers' safety, showed the importance of supporting the RMT union and rail workers.

Over Christmas and New Year, RMT members were on strike on Cross Country Trains, to keep the guard on the train. This is the latest in a series of disputes over staffing and safety on the railways. The attacks are coming from many rail operators.

EMR is owned by Abellio, which is owned by the Dutch state. A company owned by the German state has another franchise in Britain. The European Union has instructed member states to privatise their railways. This will make matters worse.

Despite the Department for Transport taking nominal control of the railways last year, a meeting with franchise operators in October suggested that the operating companies would continue to run services.

Rail prices have just gone up by 3.1%, well below inflation (currently 7.1%). Every year passengers pay more for as deteriorating rail infrastructure, rolling stock and service.

We need to nationalise the railways under democratic workers' and passengers' control and management to ensure a safe and proper service.

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In The Socialist 12 January 2022:


News

Super-rich get richer, while we can't make ends meet. Join the fightback!

Blow to establishment as jury backs Colston Four

Covid, stress and cutbacks fuel school staff shortages

Tories concede under cladding pressure but don't go far enough

Low pay, stress and Covid drive: NHS staff crisis

Shameless Johnson partied through lockdown

Energy price crisis: nationalise energy giants to save us from £600 hit

Energy bosses: 'Jump, cuddle and eat porridge while we raise prices'


Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: Working-class revolt only suppressed by massive mobilisation of troops

Solidarity with workers protesting in Kazakhstan


Campaigns news

Protests against BBC transphobia

Leeds People's Budget: We beat council cuts before, we will again

Communities fight back against Rio Tinto mine

North London NHS - "It's going to be us who saves it"

Southampton student vote for online exams must be accepted


Workplace news

Coventry bin workers' pay strike

10,000 tube workers vote to strike over jobs, terms and pension cuts

East Mids rail conductors force concessions, train managers' dispute continues

Carmarthenshire gritters take action as Plaid-led council reneges on agreement

Jobcentre Coronavirus outbreak leads to reps meeting call

South Yorkshire bus strikes spreading and getting stronger

Weetabix workers defeat 'fire and rehire' and ballot on improved pay offer

Invergordon Royal Mail mutiny wins


Reviews

Don't Look Up: An entertaining satire on corporate power and the US establishment

Anne: Hillsborough and the fight for justice

Money Heist: A Robin Hood tale set in modern-day capitalism


Readers' opinion

War criminal Tony Blair knighted

Bullying weighing room culture at the races

Free prescriptions? Maybe when you're older


Obituaries

Obituary - Pauline Wall

Obituary - Ethan Bradley 1993-2021


 

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Related links:

Conductors:

triangleGuards fight for their grades on CrossCountry rail

triangleFresh strikes on East Midlands Railway

triangleEast Mids train guards strike

triangleSheffield tram workers strike for 72 hours

triangleSouthern Rail Strike

Rail:

triangleMore fares misery for passengers - renationalise the railways

triangleMore fares misery for passengers

triangleHS2 eastern route cancelled: Fight for a workers' plan for public transport

triangleLeeds cab drivers protest against taxi rank move

RMT:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleSupport tube workers fighting back

triangleMail attacks tube strikers by stealing socialist's image

Pay:

triangleRoyal Mail: Unofficial walkouts precede bigger battle to come on pay and workload

triangleBus driver Tracey Scholes reinstated at Go North West

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