RMT pickets yesterday morning called for a general strike to win their dispute by bringing down the government.
Wale Agunbiade, RMT Branch Secretary at Liverpool Street station, said: ‘The public and members support we’re getting is very good.
‘People understand why the strikes are taking place, they know that we’re underpaid and realise that for staff to do well, then they have to be looked after properly.
‘We think there has to be a general strike. If we don’t have a general strike, workers will be left to fight on an individual level which we can’t do.’
Nelson Ajube, RMT rep at Liverpool Street station, added: ‘This strike is not something we wanted, but the management refused to negotiate with us and as a result, we are getting huge support from other workers and unions which is motivating us to continue with the strike.
‘The fact that other workers are now taking strike action themselves shows how much inflation is beginning to bite and it’s forced them to take strike action as there is no other solution left.
‘I would support a general strike one hundred per cent. It will be more effective, and a strong signal to the government and employers that we’re serious in our fight for better wages.’
Steve, RMT member at Liverpool Street station, said: ‘Obviously I’d rather be working than striking, but we’ve been forced into this situation to take strike action because management are refusing to listen to us. If they did, we wouldn’t be in this situation.
‘The media are feeding the public a load of lies of how big our pay packets are. That’s not true, we’re just above the national minimum wage and our wages should be in line with inflation but it isn’t.
‘Feeding my kids and giving them a holiday like their friends are getting, is very difficult because even though wages need to move with the times, our wages are not doing so.’
Pickets were out at Waterloo mainline station yesterday morning, angry at the fact that they have had no offer from their employer, South Western Railways (SWR).
BJ Awosanya, RMT branch secretary, told News Line: ‘We are disappointed that the company, SWR has not made us an offer, even though we have been on strike for four days.
‘The manager of the company keeps sending emails saying she is disappointed that the union is not coming to the negotiating table. This is for public consumption because there is nothing to negotiate.
‘People can’t survive when the cost of everything has gone up 10%. How are people supposed to meet with this cost. We will continue to strike until we get what we need.
‘Even nurses and doctors are about to strike. That’s why the TUC should call a general strike, because it affects everyone. Individual unions are calling action but it needs to be brought together.’
TSSA railway union members joined their RMT colleagues on strike yesterday morning with a powerful picket line at Euston station, central London.
Several strikers on the picket line expressed their anger to News Line. Peter Cullen, RMT, said: ‘Something has to happen, this crisis can’t continue. The government and employers are so far apart from the RMT. The government is digging its heels in and so are we.
‘We can’t afford to lose this. We have to win and get a decent pay rise. The whole country needs it.
‘The shareholders don’t care about us so there has to be a general strike.’
Dan Hall, RMT, a track vegetation control worker, said: ‘Network Rail is not discussing with us and want to get rid of 2,000 jobs and attack our conditions but we are understaffed as it is.’
His colleague Kevin Amstrong, RMT, added: ‘They made millions of profit last year.
‘That money should go back to the workers with decent pay rises to match inflation and not go out of the country.
‘The profits should come back to the workers and the economy.’
RMT striker Adam Sheers told News Line: ‘I come to every picket line because it is clear that this is not just about us. It is about all other working people getting what they deserve.’
RMT pickets at Paddington station reported great support from the public.
RMT member John McNerney told News Line: ‘More and more people are showing their support – doctors, nurses, teachers and firemen.’
TSSA members at Paddington were also on strike and had their own picket at the newly opened Elizabeth Line.
TSSA member, Tony Wheeler said: ‘This government is unable to understand and comprehend the complex issues on the rail.
‘Their idea of change is a threat to the safety of passengers. We definitely need a more revolutionary outlook. The current system is beyond reforming.’