British railway workers brace for second round of strikes

Last month around 40,000 British rail workers from the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) went on strike for three days, shutting down large parts of Britain’s rail system in a demonstration history of collective strength. This week, after receiving a contract offer from state-owned Network Rail that union leaders described as ‘paltry’, the RMT announced that workers at Network Rail and rail operating companies would engage in another strike day on Wednesday 27 July. With these strikes and in ongoing negotiations, workers are fighting for decent wages at a time when the cost of living is spiraling out of control and corporate executives and shareholders are filling their pockets with cash. Like Adam Bychawski writing, “Rail companies paid nearly £800m to shareholders last year before telling rail unions that workers must take a pay cut in real terms to stay afloat.” But workers are fighting for much more; they are fighting against years of austerity policies and profit-generating programs for companies that have led to the deterioration of working conditions and the quality of service on the rails; they fight against further job cuts in the name of “modernization”; and they fight for better, safer, more accessible and well-staffed rail services for the people who depend on them.

In this special episode, we talk to four railway workers and RMT members/officers – Mel Mullings, Clayton Clive, Cat Cray and Gaz Jackson – about the strike and the importance for workers around the world to stand in solidarity with the strikers .

Additional links/information below…

  • RMT Union National Dispute Resolution Fund
  • RMT Syndicate website, Facebook pages, and Twitter page,
  • by Mel Twitter page
  • Clayton’s Twitter page
  • Manchester South RMT Twitter page
  • Cats Twitter page
  • Gas’s Twitter page
  • Rupert Pickering, GrandstandDefend the RMT
  • Karl Hansen, JacobinBritish railway workers ready to strike against austerity
  • Ronan Burtenshaw, JacobinStriking British railway workers draw establishment hatred
  • Matthew Weaver, The GuardianMick Lynch: Rail Union Bruiser who is more than a game for the media
  • Gwyn Topham and Tom Ambroise, The GuardianRail services halted as RMT rail strike enters day three
  • Jasper Joly, The GuardianRailway workers will strike across Britain on July 27, union announces
  • Mel Buer, The Real News Network, “Corporate billionaires destroy the supply chain. Just look at the railroads

Permanent connections below…

Highlighted Music (everything songs from of the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)

  • Jules Taylor,The workers theme song

Transcription

The transcript of this interview will be available as soon as possible.


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Chief Editor

Ten years ago, I worked 12-hour days as a temp in a warehouse in Southern California while my family, like millions of others, struggled to stay afloat in the wake of the Great Recession. Eventually we lost everything, including the house I grew up in. It was in the years that followed, when hope seemed irrevocably lost and help from above seemed impossibly absent, that I realized the vital importance of everyday workers coming together, sharing our stories, showing our scars and reminding us that we are not alone. Since then, from starting the Working People podcast – where I interview working people about their lives, jobs, dreams and struggles – to working as an associate editor at the Chronicle Review and now as a Chief at the Real News Network, I have dedicated my life to raising my voice and honoring the humanity of our fellow workers.

Email: [email protected]

Follow: @maximillian_alv

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