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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 June 2019

South Western Railway staff strike for safety

South Western Railway workers in the RMT on strike in Bournemouth, 18.6.19, photo by Jane Ward

South Western Railway workers in the RMT on strike in Bournemouth, 18.6.19, photo by Jane Ward   (Click to enlarge)

Nick Doyle, Portsmouth Socialist Party

RMT transport union members on South Western Railway are taking five days of industrial action starting on 18 June.

Many of them are sacrificing five days of pay for safety - to keep a guard on the train. Socialist Party members supported picket lines in London, Bournemouth and a determined picket line at Fratton, Portsmouth.

Action was suspended back in February for talks over the role of the guard. The dispute started again when it became clear that management had no intention of keeping its promises.

As one striking guard put it: "Back again. They had started serious building work when this dispute began which is now complete!" But unlike the construction work this dispute is not over because of the callous disregard of management.

Management are intent on ploughing on with driver-only operation and RMT members are showing that they will not accept South Western Railway profiting at the expense of public safety.

RMT general secretary candidate and former president Sean Hoyle came down to support as he has done throughout this two-year dispute. Sean was clear that they have to win this dispute. He went on to explain that of all their walkouts, this action will cause the most disruption for South Western Railway, being the same week as the Royal Ascot racing festival.

Sean also said that the union leadership has been too cautious in the past - calling off action on the busiest days, to not cause problems for the public. The support shown to RMT members on strike shows that train users understand all too well that this dispute is over their safety.

Socialist Students also came and gave their full support to the guards at Fratton and called for the 'Youth Strike 4 Climate' protesters to support the guards on 21 June.

This strike shows that profit should never come before safety. What is needed is a return to public ownership, under democratic workers' control, so we can plan for a public transport system that works for all.

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In The Socialist 19 June 2019:


What we think

While the Tories elect a new leader - prepare action to remove the lot of them


News

Welsh government must block NHS privatisation or face workers' action

Council cuts continue while reserves rise

Cancer stats reveal deep inequality

Them & Us


Climate change

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What way forward to tackle climate change?


Workplace news

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Schools unions must turn anger into a fight against funding catastrophe

Unite must be at the head of fighting for a general election and against council cuts

South Western Railway staff strike for safety

Ford Bridgend workers vote to fight to save threatened plant

Bluestar bus drivers' strike over pay

East London bin workers call 12-day strike over wage grades

Swansea Parcelforce workers picket depot in support of victimised rep

Harrogate academy workers strike against closure


International socialist news and analysis

Chinese regime's puppet government in Hong Kong pushed back by mass protests

Sudan: The revolution under threat


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Angry Barking residents' meeting demands answers and action following fire

Orgreave injustice - 35th anniversary march and rally

Oppose big business's sphere of influence!

Young Socialists - re-establishing Rhondda's fighting traditions

North Shields: second march and rally to #SaveOurBridge

Newton Abbot says no to Tory privatisation of the NHS!

Worcester: Building on our successful library campaign


Opinion

Defend free TV licences for over-75s!

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

South Western Railway:

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Portsmouth:

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Transport:

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Ascot:

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