Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/568/6999
The Socialist 24 February 2009 |
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Look at the gravy train!
Activists from the campaign Keep Tyne and Wear Metro Public (KMP) found out that the Metro, which is Britain's last publicly owned railway, had been short-listed for the HSBC rail business awards.
We decided to travel down to London from the north east to lobby their awards jamboree at Park Lane's Grosvenor House Hotel.
We were joined by rail union RMT members from London. They know first hand about the horrors of rail privatisation from their experience of Metronet and other railway profiteers.
We handed out leaflets and jeered at the privateers with chants of: "What a disgrace! Look at the gravy train! They've got their noses in the trough! Cocktails at six! All paid for by the bankers!"
The train operators were clearly unhappy at our presence - we were invading their genteel world of glamorous awards, cocktails and posh nosh at £188 a head.
As Bob Potts, RMT national executive member, commented: "They're celebrating the achievement and hard work of their workers. But it's not the workers who are wining and dining - all we're getting is worse pay and conditions."
Currently around 250 RMT members employed on Tyne and Wear Metro are being balloted for strike action over the threat to their jobs and conditions posed by plans to privatise the railway. KMP activists will be supporting any strike action taken.