PRESS RELEASE Monday, 20 June 2022
Sheffield TUC supports RMT rail workers striking this week
Tuesday 21st June, Thursday 23rd June Saturday 25th June
RMT says “This is not modernisation; it is the managed decline of our railways
where cuts will worsen services for passengers and make the railway less safe and accessible.”
“We support the RMT members taking strike action this week” says Martin Mayer Secretary Sheffield Trade Union Council “and urge people to visit the RMT picket line at Sheffield Rail Station on Cross Turner Street to show their support”
RMT members striking this week include cleaners, catering staff, controller, guards, drivers, engineering, revenue protection, signal workers, station staff, track workers and train maintenance staff. Most rail workers have basic salary rates of between £25 -30,000 around the median annual salary of £31,285. They voted by almost 9-1 in favour of strike action on a 71% turnout.
“They haven’t had a pay rise for 2 years, no satisfactory offer is on the table and CPI inflation is running at almost 9% (RPI inflation is over 11%), so of course they are right to strike” says Martin Mayer. “We strongly disagree with Andrew Baily Bank of England boss and this appalling Tory Government who think workers shouldn’t strike to keep pace with the cost of living. It’s not workers’ fault that real wages have fallen. It’s the Government’s fault that workers are unable to pay the bills whilst company bosses rake off millions” he said.
“This strike is more than just about pay. Rail workers are facing the prospect of massive job losses and the very real threat of compulsory redundancies as the Government slashes public funding for Britain’s privatised railway, “said Martin Mayer. “Network Rail which looks after the track and signalling is shedding staff, putting safety at risk. Station staff are being slashed and the TOCs (train operating companies) are cutting services when we should be investing in our railways and getting cars and lorries off our roads” he said.
“The RMT calls this managed decline and we agree,” said Martin Mayer. “The Government is cutting public spending on our railways massively when we should be investing in it. Meanwhile, workers are being made to bear the cost whilst private profits for the train companies are being protected. There is an alternative – bring the railways back into public ownership where they belong! It would be cheaper as instead of paying taxpayers money straight into the pockets of private shareholders it could be invested back into the railways – and ensure our rail workers have apay rise and a secure future”.
Sheffield TUC will hold a rally in support of the RMT strikers on Saturday 25th June outside Sheffield Rail Station at 11am.
Other rail workers are currently balloting for strike action too. ASLEF which represents most train drivers, and TSSA which represents ticket office staff and other salaried official staff are angry too over pay, job cuts and attacks on conditions.
For comment please contact Martin Mayer on 0776 107 8482
SHEFFIELD NEEDS A PAY RISE!
Sheffield TUC says all workers should join a union, especially workers on low pay. Our Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise campaign is there to help. Low pay not only means workers cannot live to an acceptable standard, it makes our working-class communities poorer and is bad for the local economy. For Sheffield to prosper we must end low pay now! We are helping to fund a Union Organiser in Sheffield with our partner the Bakers and Allied Food Workers Union to help low paid workers get organised and fight to raise their pay and conditions, including by strike action.