Saturday 25 June 2022

Staying On Track

Another day of the rail strike. Against compulsory redundancies, and in favour of wages that kept pace with price inflation. That's it. What would be the point of any trade union that did not fight for those two causes? But if the RMT lost, then no union would ever again be able do so, and trade unionism in Britain would be dead.

Of course, if the RMT won, which would necessitate concessions to it by the Government that heavily directed the railways, then the present Leadership of the Labour Party would look absolutely ridiculous, having held out obstinately while the Conservatives had not.

Fares on the heavily subsidised railways nevertheless go up in line with the Retail Price Index, so why not wages? Executive salaries certainly do not fail to keep up with the cost of living. This dispute does not involve the drivers, but what if it did? They are not overpaid. They are well-unionised. Get yourself well-unionised.

And the staff in the ticket offices are invaluable to the safety of elderly and disabled passengers. No robot will ever be able to do what they did. Human interaction will never be obsolete. If we saved it here, then we could restore it elsewhere. But if we did not, then we could not.