Rail unions

Fantasy Union of Rail and Transport Workers

What kind of union do we need? There are strengths and weaknesses in our current union set-up. Union officials will often have you believe that things can only be done the way they are done, because ... well, because they have always been done that way.

We do not agree. We have several criticisms of the existing rail unions, so it is only fair that we set out in more positive terms what our ideal union might look like. Let's call it the Fantasy Union of Rail and Transport Workers (FURT).

What kind of union do we need? There are strengths and weaknesses in our current union set-up. Union officials will often have you believe that things can only be done the way they are done, because ... well, because they have always been done that way. We do not agree. We have several criticisms of the existing rail unions, so it is only fair that we set out in more positive terms what our ideal union might look like. Let's call it the Fantasy Union of Rail and Transport Workers (FURT).

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Towards a national rail strike, and a labour-movement campaign for public ownership

This article was written before the recent suspension of the strikes on Southern. For comment on that, click here.


By a rail worker

Recent and ongoing disputes across several train companies represent the most significant levels of workers' struggle in the railway industry for some time.

Southern

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Southern Strikes Suspended: Don't Let The Bosses Off The Ropes!

The RMT has suspended the rest of this week's strikes on Southern. Many striking guards will have received that news, which came after a day which saw a solid strike and well-supported pickets across the Southern network, as well as a lively demonstration at the Department for Transport, with disappointment and frustration. To many, it will feel like letting the bosses get their breath back at exactly the moment we had them on the ropes!

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

Members of the RMT union on Southern Rail have struck again, this time for five days, as they continue their battle to defend the role of the guard. Southern, which is owned by Govia Thameslink Railway, a train company which operates other services, including Gatwick Express, wants to de-skill the guard's role, meaning the safety-critical on-board tasks would be carried out by the driver only.

Southern: labour war continues; job cuts on East Coast; how not to save jobs; Derby teaching assistants fight on.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Dennis Brian, Luke Hardy and Gemma Short

On Wednesday 20th July, library workers in Lewisham took their third strike day to defend our libraries. In the evening the workers, service users and community activists held a lively lobby of Lewisham council.

The council wants to make £1 million of cuts to the library service. They propose taking staff from four libraries, hoping that local voluntary organisations will take over the running of these libraries.
This would leave only three full libraries open in the borough.

Fight to save libraries spreads; Leeds bus workers win pay deal; striking cleaners win London living wage; keep the guard on the train!

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gerry Bates, Simon Nelson and Ollie Moore

On 7 July the International Dockworkers’ Council (IDC), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) called a one-hour world-wide strike, from 8 a.m. local time.

Under the slogan “Defend Dockers Rights,” the Global Day of Union Action was organised to call for: Improved health and safety in the workplace, an end to job deregulation, respect for bargaining rights and collective agreements, the need for universal labor standards in GNTs, the concerns over automation processes in terminals, and social justice.

Global strike in the ports; Minnesota nurses strike for control; progress for left at Unison conference; driver-only operation fight continues; ISS must investigate chemicals.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens and Daniel Randall

Workers at Southern struck again on 21 June in their dispute against “Driver Only Operation” (DOO). One of the strikers spoke to rank-and-file railworkers’ bulletin Off The Rails.

News from across the unions.

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"We don't just sell tickets"

Workers at Southern struck again on 21 June, in their dispute against "Driver Only Operation" (DOO). One of the strikers spoke to Off The Rails.

Off The Rails is a platform for rank-and-file rail workers. Check out the Off The Rails Facebook page here.


What is your dispute about?

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Luke Hardy, Peggy Carter, Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens and Neil Laker

Workers at Pennine Foods in Sheffield have suspended their strikes after negotiations meant bosses agreed not to implement changes to their contracts. Negotiations also got bosses to agree to all employees receiving a lump sum for their 2015 pay rise. Negotiations will continue on the contract and further strikes are not ruled out. The contract changes at Pennine Foods were in order for bosses to try to recoup some of the money from implementing the government′s new ″living wage″.

Bosses dodge “living wage”; Camden teachers striking to stop job cuts; bosses make £11m profit, workers get 16p; cleaners fight back against sackings; ScotRail guards vote for strikes; Durham County Council sacks all teaching assistants; Capita workers strike over pay cuts.

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