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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Industrial news in brief

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Jim Denham, Ralph Peters, Gemma Short and Charlotte Zalens

Birmingham refuse workers have returned to the picket lines after the Labour city council reneged on a deal and sent out redundancy notices.

Council reneges on bins deal; Derby TAs may strike again; DOO strikes need driver support; train cleaners ballot; Sports Direct; Tube bosses attack RMT reps; riverboats workers win reinstatement; Argos workers three-week strike.

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Industrial news in brief

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Jim Denham, Simon Nelson, Brenda Allen and Ollie Moore

Birmingham refuse workers have forced the Labour council to back down on plans to cut jobs and pay. The dispute has been suspended after seven weeks of discontinuous action, a day before Unite was to have balloted to extend the action to Christmas.

In talks at ACAS, the council agreed to withdraw the threat to leading hands’ jobs and pay: in response Unite has agreed to discuss the possibility of a move from four-day to five-day working and other potential cost savings.

Bin workers force council to back down; BA workers continue strikes; no pay rise for 10 years; DOO strikes continue; Central Line drivers plan strikes; cleaners’ struggles round-up.

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Industrial news in brief

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Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

July has seen a number of interesting and potentially important developments in the ongoing dispute between rail unions and the Train Operating Companies (TOCs) and the government over Driver Only Operation (DOO).

DOO fight spreads; staff cuts put passengers at risk; reinstate the Picturehouse Four!; uncertainty at Forest Hill; Barts workers strike again.

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Railworkers fighting for our safety

Author: 

Joe Booth

On July 20 2017 Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) organised a demonstration outside the Department for Transport, London.

The demo was also attended by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT). Activists handed in a 4,000 signature petition for the return of train guards who are being got rid of by management – for disabled’s and passenger’s rights and lives.

Disabled activists protest against train guards being removed from trains.

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Industrial news in brief

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Simon Marks, Ken Worthington, Ollie Moore, Simon Nelson and Gemma Short

A primary school in Sheffield is to become the first to get rid of all its teaching assistants. As part of a cost-cutting restructure, unions claim the school is planning on sacking its nine teaching assistants.

Sheefield primary scraps all teaching assistants; London hospital outsourced workers fight low pay; Kirkleees social workers strike; Durham teaching assistants reject deal; train drivers support guards’ strike; Tube workers strike for permanent jobs; defend the Picturehouse Four!; Mike Ashley drinks and vomits while workers suffer; teachers’ pay still frozen.

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Stop these Stalinist threats

This picture was taken at Durham Miners’ Gala on 8 July. In the picture, (originally posted on Facebook) the person on the left is George Waterhouse, RMT activist and prominent member of the Communist Party of Britain. The person on the right is Alex Halligan, a prominent Salford Labour Party activist.

A small but vocal Stalinist scene has developed in the Labour left — and is tolerated and even encouraged by non-Stalinists prominent in Momentum, because it is convenient to have people around who will energetically attack left-wingers.

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