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). Some of the good things about this fantasy union could be put in place by changes in rules and ways of...

Stitch up over Merseyrail drivers' pay?

On 13 April the ASLEF Executive Committee met to hear reports from the Merseyrail Drivers' Company Council and the District 3 Full Time Officer Andy Hourigan.

Merseyrail's pay 'offer' to drivers for 2021 was 0% on pay, and a stipulation that any changes to Terms and Conditions negotiated needed...

Off The Rails, May 2021

The new issue of Off The Rails asks, 'Wot No Pay Rise?' and challenges rail workers and our unions not to accept imposed pay freezes but to fight for better wages and conditions. It also includes reports on the end of the South West Railway dispute in defence of guards, the threat to Netowrk Rail jobs, and recent ScotRail strikes. Download it here.

Accessibility should be standard

Over thirty delegates attended the RMT transport workers’ union’s 2021 Disabled Members’ Conference online on 17 and 18 April. The conference demanded that workplace accessibility be “as standard” not “as required”. An accessible job is one in which a disabled worker does not have to ask for adjustments, because barriers have already been removed. With the pandemic and the economic crisis accompanying it, delegates acknowledged that disabled transport workers feel insecure in their jobs and that the union needs a concerted fightback which incorporates this and other equality issues. Conference...

Central line drivers to strike

Central Line drivers will strike from 21:00 on 5 May to 20:59 on 6 May, as the campaign to win reinstatement for unjustly sacked RMT rep Gary Carney steps up.

Gary was sacked for allegedly “avoiding” a Drugs and Alcohol test, despite having booked off sick before he was even informed about the...

Fight over job cuts

Tube drivers at Queen’s Park depot who are members of the RMT union have voted by a 99% majority for strikes to stop job cuts, after an active campaign to get the vote out. London Underground bosses want to cut the workforce by around 10%.

Although RMT reps have already won a guarantee that no...

Ferry workers demand full sick and isolation pay

The National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport workers (RMT) plans to ballot members working for Stena Ferries, demanding the reinstatement of a company sick pay scheme.

Metroline bus ballot closes 9 April

A ballot of over 4,000 London bus drivers working for Metroline is continuing. The vote is due to close on 9 April. The dispute centres on the company’s plan to impose a remote sign-on system, which the workers’ union, Unite, says could lead to pay cuts and decreased safety. Meanwhile, drivers working for London United, a subsidiary of French firm RATP, struck again on 17 March, in a dispute over pay and conditions. However, planned strikes of drivers at Quality Line and London Sovereign, also RATP subsidiaries, were called off as Unite began a referendum on the employers’ latest offer. Should...

"A union General Secretary shouldn’t be like a corporate CEO"

John Leach, a candidate for general secretary of the rail and transport union RMT, spoke to Solidarity. The ballot is underway and closes on 4 May 2021. Why are you running for General Secretary? I stood in this election for two reasons. One, I knew that the union needed a candidate with the qualities I've got. Might sound egotistical but then I am running in this election to win. You need experience, character, and capacity to get things done. And often candidates say this, but I was also asked to run by reps and activists across the union. The RMT is often billed as a “left wing fighting...

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