Trade union issues

Stop Sexual Harassment and Assault on Public Transport


Janine Booth

In July, I spoke at an event organised by Islington Labour Party women’s forum, called ‘Keeping women and girls safe in Islington’. There were various speakers from community organisations, the council and the police, plus workshops on domestic abuse, sexual harassment, hate crime, gangs and bullying. My job was to speak about harassment and violence against women on public transport.

Worker activists meet to build solidarity


a trade union activist

Activists from the Independent Workers’ union of Great Britain (IWGB), United Voices of the World (UVW), UCU, Unite, RMT, Bectu, and other unions and workers’ organisations came together for the “How To Win At Work” conference on Saturday 18 August, hosted by the left-wing think tank New Economics Foundation.

Ryanair must change


Charlotte Zalens

Ryanair pilots in Ireland, Sweden and Belgium will strike for 24-hours on Friday 10 August.

The strike is part of an ongoing dispute as pilots are demanding a fair and transparent approach to transfers between different bases. On 25 July Ryanair escalated the dispute by threatening to sack 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew, or transfer them to Poland.

Fight for workers’ rights



In 1997, shortly before winning the general election, Tony Blair boasted in an interview with the Daily Mail (26 March 1997) that Britain “would still have the most restrictive union laws in the Western world” with Labour in power.

That remained true until Labour lost office in 2010, but since then the law have become more restrictive.

The restrictions around ballots, picketing, solidarity action, political funds, and others, means the potential of our unions is shackled. Employers have taken advantage of that.

Industrial news in brief: train cleaners; Sports Direct; Tube; Riverboats; Argos



Train cleaners ballot

Cleaners working for Southern and Southeastern railways will be balloted by the RMT in two separate disputes over pay and working conditions.
The cleaners are employed by two different cleaning contractors — Wettons on Southeastern and Churchill on Southern.
The ballot closes on 21 September.

Sports Direct

Solid First Day of Action at Northern and Merseyrail!

Submitted by Off The Rails on Mon, 13/03/2017 - 18:59

The RMT action on Northern and Merseyrail against Driver Only Operation on 13th March was very successful.

At Merseyrail, ALL Traincrew stayed out, including ALL Drivers, despite the majority of them belonging to ASLEF, which has not yet joined the dispute. The ONLY trains that moved at Merseyrail on the day were operated by managers.

That is a huge step forward in this dispute in terms of solidarity- let's hope this spreads to other depots as the dispute rolls on!

At Northern, the RMT strikes were incredibly solid. At Sheffield, for example, NONE of the 92 Guards came into work. Elsewhere, numbers crossing the lines were very low, with only 7 scabs at Leeds for example out of hundreds.

Only small numbers of ASLEF Drivers stayed away from work at Northern. This reflects the fact that there is no recent history of this on the franchise - neither union has taken any major action for years, and there is no historic culture of doing this - RMT members do not generally expect ASLEF members not to cross their picket lines, and most people do not fully understand the law around this.

What is clear, though, is that the majority of Drivers would rather their own union had called them out. Hopefully they can gain confidence from the few that did stay out, plus the amazing show of collective strength at Merseyrail.

Even better - the ASLEF leadership could do the right thing and get the union into the dispute!

In the meantime, RMT members can be proud of their incredibly solid action. Solidarity can win!

Workers' direct action gets the goods: sacked Crossrail worker reinstated


Darren Bedford

Construction workers scored a big win against contractors operating on the Crossrail transport project in central London, after a sacked worker was reinstated within hours of a demo at Crossrail's Oxford Street site.

The worker, who began work on Monday 9 February, raised concerns over safety standards on the site. Despite being told he would have work for three years, he was summarily sacked on Friday 13 February.

The Monthly Survey


John Major's "beef war" (Alan Gilbert)
Towards a summer of discontent? Rail and post go into battle (Tom Wills)
Deep divisions in Israel
Germany's workers are fighting back (Rhodri Evans)
Socialist Labour Party: Little controversy, no orientation, no hope (Martin Thomas)
The new left in Unison (Sleeper)

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