A track worker writes ...
Network Rail has circulated a list of aims to 'recover' from the effects of lockdown and Covid 19. We have a big fight coming our way. We will need strong organisation and unity to win it. But although some people will say that means not criticising the union's actions up to now, that is a recipe for repeating the same mistakes.
But to anybody with a memory better than a goldfish, Network Rail's list looks very much like what was presented at the last pay negotiations where the union (RMT) accepted that the no-compulsory-redundancies agreement would expire after two years (ie. in 2021). At the time, many of us shouted that we should be taking action of some description, but were told that our leadership would 'fight that when it happens'.
Well, it has happened, and our leadership's reaction is almost as if they had no warning that this was coming. Two of the contenders for the General Secretary post were holding office at that time yet no-one seems to want to remind them of this fact. The NEC also has to accept its share of the blame as they have taken their eye off the ball and allowed the officers to control almost all of the response to this fiasco.
There is still time to rectify this situation but it will be harder to win this by starting so late in the game.
There is little point in listing the 'aims' in the management circular, but most of us know what's going to be entailed unless we fight. Head Office's circular reads to me like an admission of failure of leadership. It's little and late, but we can still fight and win: yet again it is up to the rank and file to pull the irons out of the fire.