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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 August 2015

London tube's summer of strikes joined by First Great Western

RMT official picket armband on locked station gate, photo Naomi Byron

RMT official picket armband on locked station gate, photo Naomi Byron   (Click to enlarge)

As we go to press, London Underground could be shuttered again by bosses' pig-headedness over staff restructuring and night service. But last-minute talks could still lead to management concessions.

Tube unions RMT, TSSA and Unite plan two more 24-hour walkouts. Unfortunately, drivers' union Aslef will not be taking action this time. To complement the tube's summer of strikes, RMT members on First Great Western walk out for 72 hours this bank holiday.

The next tube strikes will start on the evenings of 25 and 27 August. Aslef members voted by 98% for strikes, and many will be frustrated by leaders stepping back. Strikers will encourage rank-and-file members to support the action by not crossing picket lines in solidarity.

Joint action

This would be the platform for further joint action with Aslef. Tube workers from all unions need to stand firm to again bring London to a standstill.

The tube dispute is over devastating increases in unsocial working hours, hundreds of job cuts and attacks on pay and conditions. Unions accepted night trains from the off, but warn management's proposals will harm workers and safety. There was overwhelming public support for the last strike. It now needs to be mobilised with public meetings of tube workers, the wider union movement and the general public.

First Great Western workers are fighting driver-only operation and buffet car closures, which would hit conductors' and caterers' jobs. They are also defending maintenance workers from attacks on jobs and conditions. The strike will cause significant disruption on the London-Wales-West Country network during the 29 to 31 August long weekend.

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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.

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In The Socialist 17 August 2015:


Socialist Party features

The Labour Party, Militant and 'infiltration'

Gulf War 'unfinished business' remains today


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Subscribe to the Socialist!

Fascists caged, humiliated and driven out of Liverpool

We won't pay for their crisis!

Anger at bus service cuts in Sheffield

TUSC by-election boost in Grimsby and Cleethorpes


Socialist Party news and analysis

Corbyn stand: A welcome upheaval in British politics

Solidarity with the Polish workers' strike

Government discrimination against EU workers

Kids Company closure

Them & Us


Workplace news and analysis

Socialist challenges right winger for Unison leadership

National Gallery all-out strike goes on as bosses sell off jobs

London tube's summer of strikes joined by First Great Western

Probation and courts union Napo needs socialist leadership

Uni unions ready Manchester jobs fight

Retail union must fight Sunday trading deregulation

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Greece: Building a new left alternative after Syriza capitulation

Ireland: drop the prosecutions, scrap the water charges

US: Kshama Sawant leads Seattle primary elections count on 50%


 

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