Rail union RMT has sent a message of solidarity to their Israeli counterparts, currently taking strike action against the Israeli state’s privatisation agenda.
Although such basic solidarity should be an instinctive reflex for any labour movement body, the message is significant because it cuts against a dangerous and growing consensus on the British labour movement left that the Israeli working class is irredeemably reactionary and that British unions should sever all ties with Israeli workers’ organisations.
The Israeli railworkers’ strike comes hot on the heels of a general strike organised by the Histadrut, Israel’s main trade-union centre, to win the levelling up of pay and conditions for temporary and agency workers employed in the public sector.
The RMT’s statement reads, in part:
“From the point of view of [British] railworkers privatisation has brought greater job insecurity and contracting out of jobs to weaken collective bargaining, while simultaneously we have suffered a series of preventable and foreseeable 'accidents' due to the fragmentation, casualisation and ‘profit first’ mentality of the market.
“RMT applauds you and all the workers at Israel Railways who stand up to fight against this free market vandalism.”
• Full statement here