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...

Making equality more than a buzzword

This article, by rail worker Becky Crocker, was first published in the Solidarity newspaper, here.




In recent months I have become increasingly aware of the lack of diversity in my workplace, a Network Rail office in London.

My suspicions about Network Rail were confirmed when I read in its...

Making equality more than a buzzword

In recent months I have become increasingly aware of the lack of diversity in my workplace, a Network Rail office in London. My suspicions about Network Rail were confirmed when I read in its 2019 Ethnicity Pay Gap Report that only 8.6% of its workforce is from a black or ethnic minority background compared to the national BAME population of 13%. According to the report, the lowest proportion of BAME workers is in the Operations and Maintenance section, where the overwhelming majority of Network Rail’s employees work. Those are the people who go out fixing the tracks. BAME workers make up over...

The conflict in RMT

  • RMT must address mental health issues and bullying allegations
  • External investigation needed, but union must change itself
  • Genuine debate, criticism, and accountability is essential, and is not bullying
  • For a union led by members, through our lay representatives, not by officers
  • The National...
  • Prepare to fight Tube cuts

    Members of Tube union RMT in London met via Zoom on 7 September to discuss the union’s response to cuts which the union expects to be proposed by an ongoing audit into Transport for London and London Underground’s finances. The audit was ordered by the Tory government as part of a funding bailout given to TfL in June, with accountancy firm KPMG appointed to run it. There was a strong consensus in the meeting to oppose any and all cuts recommended by the review. Several members emphasised the need for RMT to go on the offensive against arguments from the bosses and government that TfL/LU needs...

    Tube: an alternative to cuts

    As well as a loud “no” to cuts proposed by the ongoing KPMG-led audit of Transport for London’s finances, Tube workers and our unions also need to spell out our “yes”. We’re unlikely to get that kind of vision from the “independent review” London Mayor Sadiq Khan has commissioned to run in parallel. RMT has produced its own submission to the TfL review, making the case for public funding, public ownership, increased staffing levels, and the in-housing of all services. It’s a useful contribution to discussion, but needs to be connected to an active campaign with roots in workplaces. It also...

    Fight all job cuts!

    Workers at the International Currency Exchange in St. Pancras are facing job cuts, with nine members of staff having been given redundancy notices. RMT reps are supporting them, but Off the Rails was a little alarmed to read some of the language in the union circular about the campaign.

    It...

    Stonehaven tragedy: solidarity and condolences

    We send our solidarity and condolences to the family, friends, and workmates of the three people - two workers and one passenger - who died in the Stonehaven derailment on 12 August.

    Donald Dinnie and Bret McCullough, the guard and driver killed, were members of RMT and Aslef respectively. Both...

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