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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 February 2014

Effective action builds

Ash House depot, Piccadilly line, photo Iain Dalton

Ash House depot, Piccadilly line, photo Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge)

London Socialist Party members

Kings Cross underground normally opens its gates at 4.50am. But the strike was 100% solid - not one worker was in and the doors were staying shut.

Pickets were in a cheerful mood at the Ash House depot on the Piccadilly line at Arnos Grove, with over 20 RMT members picketing.

Only one driver, not in a union, crossed the picket line, with another - an Aslef member - going in but coming out again half an hour later to join strikers.

Not a single passerby was hostile to the strike. One told us that he never supports strikes, but he'd heard Boris Johnson and Bob Crow on the radio. He was now backing the strike and bought a copy of the Socialist.

Confident and mainly female pickets at Morden depot commented on the high level of support from station staff and a generally more positive attitude from the public than during previous disputes.

Over a dozen pickets at Edgware Road looked on while a manager tried to open the station gates but couldn't find his keys!

At Neasden, no trains were on the move at all.

Fulham Broadway tube was closed all day. A good victory as RMT members had earlier managed to see off an attempt to open the station using Boris Johnson's 'volunteers'.

No keys

A manager attempted to open Elephant and Castle station but at 7am notified people it was closed. It seems there is a stash of iPads left over from the Olympics and it's being suggested they will be used in stations as a substitute for humans.

As one union member said: "If someone collapses what is the iPad going to do? And what am I going to do with the iPad?"

At Brixton the strike was solid. Around 8am, two managers came out. They demanded we stop "obstructing" the stairs.

Eventually their petty arguing moved us all off LU property - to less than two metres away. "That's why we have such a strong union", said one picket. "Because of gits like that".

Nancy Taaffe reports: "We have been campaigning in support of the rail unions and we have had a very good response, reflected in 23 sales of the Socialist, which backs the strike, on one stall.

It appears Londoners know this strike is all about jobs, safety and pay."

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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In The Socialist 12 February 2014:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Floods misery: Government cuts to blame

What future for Labour and the unions?

Fast food workers want decent pay and conditions

NHS: Kick out big Pharma

Them & Us

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Sheffield kicks off election year with 7.6% vote

Standing up against cuts in Reading

Waltham Forest: Rally for rent control

Lewisham Labour no use in the Lions' Den

London Underground dispute

Tube strike first round: Trade Unions 1 - Johnson 0

London tube stoppages show workers can win

Effective action builds

State attacks trade union action

Socialist Party workplace news

Teachers call national strike

Posties vote yes - where now for postal workers?

Higher Education: Striking for an improved pay offer

Workplace news in brief

Reviews and readers' comments

The Square: bravery and disappointment in Egypt

Housing crisis hell: a worker's view

Don't trust Labour with our NHS

2004 Morecambe Bay tragedy: Has anything changed?

Tebay disaster: Workers' grievances can't be sidelined

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Councils continue making Con-Dem cuts

Brighton solidarity with LGBTQ+ Russians

Leicester Socialist Student arrested in peaceful protest

WASP: South African elections announced

Building the Socialist Party


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