Rail unions

Fantasy Union of Rail and Transport Workers

Submitted by Off The Rails on 3 July, 2008 - 9:31

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).

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by AWL on 13 February, 2019 - 11:23

A joint union day of action against outsourcing has been called for Tuesday 26 February, 8 a.m. to noon in London. It is sponsored by the IWGB (Independent Workers of Great Britain, a small new union focused on precarious workers), United Voices of the World (UVW, an organisation similar to IWGB), the BEIS Branch of the PCS civil service union, and the Bakerloo and Finsbury Park branches of the rail union RMT.

Will Northern try to buy off drivers to undermine guards' victory?

Submitted by Off The Rails on Mon, 11/02/2019 - 23:28
Northern rolling stock

The breakthrough in the anti-DOO dispute is a cause for celebration, but some caution must also be exercised. No formal settlement has yet been reached, and the "other stakeholders" referred to in Acas chair Brendan Barber's letter to RMT General Secretary Mick Cash must be drivers' union Aslef.

Aslef has past form selling out RMT members as well as its own members in the big DOO dispute with GTR Southern in 2016/17. In addition, Aslef reps on the Northern Company Council has been acting to aid the company in pushing forward its DOO agenda.

After Northern victory: don't let the bosses divide us!

Submitted by Off The Rails on Mon, 11/02/2019 - 23:17
"In unity is strength" graphic

Off the Rails has been covering the recent developments in RMT's dispute with Arriva Rail North, operators of Northern Railway over the company's plan to introduce Driver Only Operation.

In a letter from Acas chair Brendan Barber, RMT were informed that the company and Department for Transport were now willing to agree to a "Conductor on every train... ...for the remainder of the franchise". The letter invited the union to talks with the company and "other stakeholders" to discuss any necessary "changes to the operational mode".

Checks only after 82 days?

Submitted by AWL on 6 February, 2019 - 9:14 Author: Ollie Moore

Tube union RMT is preparing to ballot members working in fleet maintenance for industrial action to resist an attempt by London Underground to extend train preparation schedules.

Currently, trains are prepped, with all basic checks being performed, every 24 hours. New proposals from the company would extend that by varying lengths on different lines, to a 96- hour schedule on some lines and an 82 day one on others.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by AWL on 30 January, 2019 - 10:18 Author: Jay Dawkey

Since 15 January, Higher Education (HE) members of the University and College Union (UCU) have been voting in the pay and equality ballot. The ballot covers 143 universities and will close on 22 February.

In last term’s ballots (counted university by university) on this same issue, most UCU branches failed to meet the 50% turnout requirement imposed by the Trade Union Act 2016. This time, the ballot is aggregated, so all results will be counted together.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by AWL on 23 January, 2019 - 11:17 Author: Darren Bedford, Kelly Rogers and Ollie Moore

Care workers employed by charity Alternative Futures Group are balloting for strikes to resist a pay cut announced by their employer in November.

The workers, who are members of Unison, face a cut of up to £40 following AFG bosses’ announcement that they will no longer pay an additional allowance for workers who sleep overnight at service users’ homes as part of their shift.

Far right in Leeds

Submitted by AWL on 23 January, 2019 - 9:15 Author: Luke Hardy
leeds yellow vests

The far right organised a “Yellow Vest” pro-Brexit demo in Leeds on 19 January.

Since it was also a RMT strike day on Northern Trains, a special effort was made by the Leeds labour movement to turn out for the city centre picket.

In Manchester recently, fascists on a “yellow vest” demo abused and threatened a picket line.

About 100 turned out to back the RMT: Labour people, various flavours of socialists, Momentum, Young Labour, and Leeds Anti Fascist Network.

A couple of fascists turned up to jeer and film, but the main yellow vest group stayed clear.

Govia Thameslink Railway: a view from the frontline

Submitted by Off The Rails on Mon, 21/01/2019 - 19:12

The DOO strikes on Southern have been over for a while now. The next big battle will be over proposed cuts to platform dispatch jobs, which are likely to be targeted on Brighton mainline stations. Lots of managers have been trained as "contingency" dispatch staff in the event of a strike. But as always the issue will be what Aslef drivers will do.

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