The great task that must be resolved is to break through the political disenfranchisement and demobilisation of the working class by the combined forces of the Labour Party and the trade union bureaucracy.
There is no way forward outside of direct confrontation with Boris Johnson’s Conservative government, the most reactionary and corrupt in British history. The whole strength of the working class must be brought to bear against the plans of the government to suppress and criminalise the strike.
Workers must take measures to ensure that their fight is not sabotaged by the union bureaucrats in the rail unions and the Trades Union Congress, who will do everything they can to smother and shut down an insurrectionary struggle of British workers. This raises the necessity for the development of powerful rank-and-file organisations controlled by the workers themselves.
The new laws were passed as thousands of train drivers voted to strike. But a growing wave of opposition is being politically blocked by the Labour Party and trade unions.
Lynch managed to stun his audience into silence by backing Starmer after winning widespread support by criticising him
Former National Union of Mineworkers leader Arthur Scargill warns of state attacks on UK rail strike
The warnings of a state assault and the call for mass action should be taken seriously by every worker. But the fight against Tory plans to emulate Thatcher can only be waged in opposition to Scargill’s own political evasions.
It is necessary to draw a balance sheet of last week’s national strikes and the political lessons for the working class.
Not only is the rail strike becoming a focus for the determination of millions of workers to end the savage austerity measures of the government. It is now threatening key foreign policy imperatives centred on an escalation of NATO’s war against Russia and hostile targeting of China.
The strikes and ballots in the UK are part of a growing wave of militancy worldwide provoked by the same desperate cost-of-living crisis.
The World Socialist Web Site is the voice of the international working class, connecting workers and their struggles all over the globe.
The WSWS calls on rail workers in the UK to get in touch with updates on their conditions and the events of the strike.
For the rail strike to be successful, workers must take the struggle out of the hands of the trade union bureaucracy by forming rank-and-file committees. The Socialist Equality Party and the International Workers’ Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees will provide every assistance possible to aid in the formation of these vital organisations.
Get in touch today to begin organising with your fellow workers in the industry, across the country and internationally.
Around 1,000 people attended a rally in support of striking railworkers in front of London King’s Cross station.
In Scotland today, around 100 striking rail workers and Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) members, including from Avanti West Coast, along with trade union delegations and supporters attended a picket outside Glasgow Central Station.
A WSWS reporting team spoke to an experienced maintenance engineer on the picket line at the Network Rail depot on Blast Lane, Sheffield.
WSWS reporters spoke to some of those attending the Trades Union Congress march and rally in London on Saturday.
The London Bus Rank-and-File Committee was founded on Sunday September 13, 2020 to organise bus workers independently of the unions for a fightback against unsafe exposure to COVID-19 and unlivable pay and working conditions. It urges a fightback on the following principles:
1. Unity is strength! The attacks on bus workers are part of a broader assault and can only be defeated on that basis. This month’s strikes on the London Underground and railways must be expanded to encompass bus drivers and engineers in a single fight. The demand must be raised for the complete withdrawal of the Johnson-Khan bail-out measures and Great British Railways privatisation plan. This fight must be developed as part of an international strategy, calling for united action by transport workers across Europe and America who are coming into struggle.
2. Money for transport, not profit and war! All workers must reject the lying claim that there is “no money” for decent wages, pensions or affordable fares. London is a playground for the billionaires, whose wealth has soared during the pandemic, while Johnson and his cabinet of maniacs are funnelling billions into NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine. The income of the top 250 richest people in Britain should be taxed 100 percent and the transport companies expropriated and placed under workers’ control so their wealth can be used for socially useful purposes.
3. Break the grip of the pro-company trade unions! Form rank-and-file committees: To organise a fightback workers need to break the grip of pro-company trade unions that work with the government and build their own rank-and-file committees, controlled by and for workers. While Unite openly suppresses action, the rail unions are using the threat of strikes to reach a deal with Johnson, Khan and the private operators, with the RMT insisting on May 31 that “any changes to structures, working practices, or conditions have to be agreed with our union, not imposed.” RMT and ASLEF are limiting strike action while they negotiate with Johnson’s cronies via the corporatist Rail Industry Recovery Group that was set-up to enforce the Tories’ cuts.
A network of rank-and-file committees would link workers at every depot, garage and workplace, cutting across all divisions and fighting for a strategy that prioritises the needs of the working class and society over corporate profit. We urge bus and transport workers who agree with this to contact the London Bus Rank-and-File Committee: email@example.com