21st August 2022 

Kingston Labour have shown support to the bus drivers and railway staff this week by visiting local picket lines to speak with the workers.

We are facing the biggest attack on living standards in living memory, yet profits have never higher, and we’ve never had so many billionaires in our society.

Over the coming months, as the cost-of-living crisis worsens we will be seeing more strikes over a number of industries.

Labour’s Trade Union Liaison Officer, Greta Farian said: “No worker decides to take strike action lightly but RMT members who staff our trains and stations and maintain the railway infrastructure, feel they have no alternative.  This isn’t just about securing a decent pay offer during a cost-of-living crisis.  It’s about plans to close ticket offices, cut track and infrastructure maintenance, run trains under Driver Only operation, cutting jobs across the industry and introducing more ‘multi-functional roles’.

The impact of these proposals, framed by the employers as ‘modernisation’, would worsen the passenger experience on trains and at stations making the railways even less accessible to the disabled and putting travelers at greater risk of accidents.

Labour want to see an efficient, safe rail service which prioritises the needs of the travelling public while ensuring its staff are rewarded for the vital job they do to contribute to the running of our economy.”

Railway workers and Labour
Railway workers and Labour's Greta Farian outside Surbiton Station

Five million working people are living in poverty. Intervention is desperately needed.  We must support strikes it will show other companies that their staff deserve fair pay and good working standards as well.

Bus drivers have only been only offered a pay increase of 3.6 per cent in 2022. Inflation is currently standing at 11.8 per cent, which is in effect, a real terms pay cut.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The workers’ parent company RATP is fabulously wealthy and it can fully afford to pay our members a decent wage increase.

Unite’s members play a crucial role in keeping London moving and they are not going to accept seeing their pay constantly eroded.”

Many strikers are also fighting to keep their jobs. When ticket machines replace station staff, and guards are axed, the public will also suffer, whilst the operators line their pockets

Next week postal workers are due to strike, and Unison have been running a lengthy campaign calling for fair wages and better working conditions for NHS staff.

Bus Drivers at Tolworth Bus Garage
Bus Drivers at Tolworth Bus Garage
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