OVER one hundred RMT members, along with members of the PCS, UCU and Unite rallied outside Parliament yesterday to defend the right to strike.
This was after an unprecedented attack by Tory PM Johnson, set out in the Queen’s Speech yesterday, which fundamentally attacks the right for public sector workers to take strike action.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash told the rally ‘Using only the 23 words in the Queen’s Speech they want to destroy the right to strike, a key human right.
‘It is an attack on ordinary working people, they are attacking us all.
‘We are not going to lie down and give up. They have thrown down the gauntlet and we have picked it up.’
RMT assistant general secretary Steve Hedley, speaking in a personal capacity, said: ‘Workers feel betrayed.
‘After saying in the 2017 Manifesto they would honour the Brexit decision, in 2019 they said they would negotiate a new deal and then would campaign against it!
‘The reality is that Corbyn was bounced into that position from those on the right.
‘These so-called “moderates” hark back to the “golden era” of the Blair government.
‘That government did not repeal the Tory anti-union laws and privatised sections of the railways. If that was a golden era you can stuff it!
‘They are saying if you want to win an election you have to be more Tory than the Tories.
‘If you can’t withdraw your labour you are in a state of slavery.
‘In France workers fighting to defend their pensions called a general strike. We can’t afford to be isolated like the miners were.’
Andy Pennington, RMT health and safety rep at Bombardier, train maintenance for London Overground, at Willesden Junction told News Line: ‘This is the first protest I have ever been on.
‘I feel banning the right to strike is wrong and we have to stand up for our rights.
‘I can see the importance of unions when Bombardier are taking on more agency workers.
‘They are not in a union, their conditions are worse, they have to buy their own work gear, and have to pay to clean it themselves.’
On strike at South Western Railway, RMT member Richard Alcock, said: ‘We are continuing to fight for safety on the railway.
‘It’s not just rail workers but all trade unions should support action to defend the right to strike.’