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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 (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
Welsh government must block NHS privatisation or face workers' action
Council cuts continue while reserves rise
Cancer stats reveal deep inequality
Them & Us
Stop climate change - fight for socialist change
What way forward to tackle climate change?
Trade union action can end low pay
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
Defend free TV licences for over-75s!
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