London rail workers speak out ahead of national strike

Rail workers across London spoke to campaign teams from the World Socialist Web Site ahead of the largest national rail strike since 1989.

50,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will strike on June 21, 23 and 25, against wage, job and pension cuts. Thegovernment is planning an historic attack on the industry under its “Great British Railways” scheme. RMT and Unite members on the London Underground and train drivers represented by the ASLEF union are also due to walk out.

Reporters found a widening demand for united strike action to confront this threat in transport and throughout the working class. The rail strikes are part of a broader movement of workers across the UK and internationally, driven by spiraling inflation and the impacts of the pandemic and NATO-Russia war in Ukraine.

Campaign teams distributed the statement “UK rail strikes announced: workers demand action in ‘summer of discontent’.” They discussed the necessity for workers to take the struggle into their own hands through the formation of rank-and-file committees cutting across artificial divisions imposed by the unions and mounting a political fight against the Johnson government and its Labor Party partners.

All workers spoke anonymously for fear of victimization.

London King’s Cross

Rail workers at London King’s Cross station WSWS Media

A member of train crew said, “The government are trying to put together this Great British Railways plan which is bad for workers. It’s about cutting jobs and downsizing. I am worried that there are going to be a lot of job losses. The cost of living is going up, wages are not going up—that’s what strike is about. I could have retired last year, but due to the cost of living I am still working here.”

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