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...

Vote John Leach #1 for RMT General Secretary!

If you are an RMT member, you will soon be receiving a voting paper for the election of a new General Secretary (GS).

You have the choice of four candidates, and Tubeworker recommends that you vote for John Leach, who is currently our Regional Organiser and has been nominated by seven of our...

Workers, trade unions and climate politics

Calvin Lawson - an RMT rep in Newcastle, part of the RMT Environmental Action Group, and co-lead on trade union strategy for Labour for a Green New Deal - spoke to Solidarity. Our trade union group within Labour for a Green New Deal is working with local groups to establish union link officers who can connect with trades councils, union branches and so on to support workers’ struggles but also take up environmental questions. We’ve organised some roadshows to encourage discussion and engagement, for instance in the North East where I’m based and working with Unison in the Manchester area. That...

Off The Rails February 2021

The latest edition of Off the Rails, a zine for mainline railway workers, featuring material collated from the Off the Rails blog. Click here to download the PDF.

Rail unions must mobilise to resist Tories' pay freeze!

Rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris has written to Train Operating Company (TOC) bosses to tell them there is "no budget" for any further subsidies to increase workers' pay.

TOCs are private companies and can set their own pay policy, but this is as close to an imposition of a pay freeze on...

Merseyrail: vote yes for action!

RMT launched a new ballot for industrial action on Merseyrail on 21 January. The vote runs until 11 February.

The union gave bosses a November deadline to open talks on a new pay settlement. With the employer having failed to meet that deadline, the union quite rightly declared a dispute and has...

To beat the pandemic, beat poverty: good sick pay for all!

There is growing noise in the labour movement and more widely around the issue of sick pay. We urgently need a bigger campaign on this issue. Despite right-wing agitation about people flouting lockdown regulations, the evidence suggests something like 90% general compliance (British Medical Journal). But much lower numbers of those infected or in contact with the infected are self-isolating fully: more like 20%. Unlike hand-washing and social distancing, self-isolation often requires material resources and support, particularly sufficient space and an income. Data from the first lockdown...

Covid-safety on Tube

Latest figures show that 57 transport workers in London have died from Covid-19. 42 were bus workers, highly exposed by their employers’ unforgivable foot-dragging over moving to middle-door boarding and additional distancing measures. Eight of the deaths are of Tube/rail workers, with three from Transport for London (TfL) offices, and three from outsourced employers. These were 57 workmates, friends, family members. Each leaves people devastated by their loss. On the Tube, a full train service is now being run, despite ridership being at only 18% of pre-pandemic levels. Only those workers who...

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...

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