Photo: Tommy Doyle
Photo: Tommy Doyle

Rail strikes show the way

  • Strike together for inflation-proof  wage increases
  • A minimum wage of £15 an hour
  • Benefits we can live on

The fightback against the cost-of-living crisis has begun. On 18 June, tens of thousands of workers from all over the country marched in central London to say ‘enough is enough’.

Three days later, railworkers, joined by London tube workers, took historic strike action that closed down the network.

Here we saw the real power of workers to fight back against the attacks on our living standards. We have lost £20,000 in wages since 2008!

Royal Mail and BT workers are balloting for strike action. Teachers and healthworkers are also likely to be balloting over insulting offers that will really mean a massive pay cut because of soaring inflation. Local government and many other workers are moving in the same direction.

If the unions were to coordinate the ballots so that we all strike together we would be massively strengthened. Not only could we win the wage rises we need, we could bring down this rotten Tory government, and  build up the campaign for a new mass workers’ party that fights determinedly for our interests – which Starmer’s Labour certainly doesn’t do!

On the 18 June demo Carlos Barros, RMT branch secretary of Piccadilly and West branch in London, told the Socialist, in a personal capacity: “I’m here today to show the government and everyone else who wants to listen that the working class is getting organised and they need to be scared of that.

“Because we’ll be starting to set the agenda from now on, as long as we stay together. So I’m here to not only demonstrate with my union but I want to show solidarity to all the other unions and the working class in general. There is a feeling that there is a movement starting and I hope to be part of that.”

Amy Murphy, former president of shop workers’ union Usdaw, said: “I’m on this march to send a message to the government that enough is enough. We’re not going to stand for this any longer and my hope is that this is just the start.

“A general strike is what we need and we need it now.  We’ve waited long enough and the only way the government is going to listen is if the unions stand together and we become a force to be reckoned with. We can do it.”