As a lifelong Trade Unionist and supporter of workers fighting for better pay, terms and conditions, I am proud to support the thousands of railway workers across the country who have been taking industrial action this week.
This out of touch Government has underfunded and mismanaged our public transport network for more than a decade and enough is enough. RMT members taking strike action are of course standing up for their rights – but they are also standing up for commuters – demanding a safe, well-staffed railway where people are put before profit.
These key workers deserve our full support and they are not the only ones, teachers, NHS staff, Local Government workers and many more are all struggling to cope with the cost of living crisis.
This Government has failed to deal with the cost of living crisis, and of course they are playing politics with this RMT dispute, threatening to legislate against the right to strike.
We should be tackling the false narrative that pits railway workers against the traveling public, that states workers are overpaid.
Workers have had real terms pay cuts for decades and are now facing a cost of living crisis, food poverty and energy bill rises – all political choices of this Government.
Workers have been left with no choice and no one takes strike action lightly.
Yesterday during Prime Minister’s Questions, I pointed out its not just
rail workers that are on strike, royal mail workers, NHS workers, teachers and even barristers are on the verge of taking industrial action fighting for better pay, terms and conditions. All workers are struggling to cope with the worst cost of living crisis in history.
Yet this Government are planning to boost City bosses’ pay whilst demanding ‘wage restraint’ for everyone else
I asked Boris Johnson when is he is going to stop giving meaningless sound bites and instead support working people many of whom are slipping further and further below the breadline.
Again, the Prime Minister failed to acknowledge his Government must do more. These are workers who keep our country moving safely 365 days a year. The least they deserve is to be paid properly and feel secure in their jobs.
Last weekend I attended a march in London organised by the TUC where tens of thousands of working people marched through the streets to tell this rotten Government that they have had enough.
This is a Government that does not care about the likes of you and me. They are playing politics with this RMT dispute and threatening to legislate against the right to strike.
Their attack on workers’ rights has become more and more hostile and it is appalling that the Government is deliberately pitting railway workers against the travelling public.
With the rise of fire and rehire as we have already seen proposed at many companies across the country such as British Gas, Heathrow Airport and others, we know that this Government is not on the side of the workers.
This Saturday I will be speaking at the Jarrow Rebel Town Festival, Jarrow has a long proud history of standing up for workers rights and for better living standards for our community and I am proud to continue in that tradition.