Britain's strike wave 2022/23

Six months after national rail strikes launched a “summer of discontent” against the Conservative government, an urgent discussion is needed among railway workers on a strategy for victory.

The class aims and objectives of rail workers and the union bureaucracy are diametrically opposed. Workers want action to defeat the government’s attacks on pay, jobs and conditions, while the bureaucrats who control the RMT, ASLEF, TSSA and Unite are seeking an accommodation with the government.

Read the Socialist Equality Party statement
Sign up for the UK Rail Workers email newsletter!

Stay informed with the latest news reports and a perspective for rail workers.

Are you a rail worker? Contact the World Socialist Web Site today

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.

The International Workers’ Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees

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: londonbusrankandfile@protonmail.com

Latest articles