‘VICTORY TO THE DOCTORS AND THE RAIL WORKERS!’ – RMT’s Mick Lynch tells BMA rally

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Enthusiastic support for one of the speakers at Saturday’s BMA rally in London’s Central Hall Westminster

ON SATURDAY, the BMA held a rally to launch its campaign for Pay Restoration. Balloting opened for strike action on 9th January and votes must be received by 20 February.

Over 300 junior doctors attended the rally at Central Hall Westminster in central London.
Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT union, told the junior doctors: ‘What kind of society do we want to run? What kind of future do we want? Is it to be everyone for themselves? We need egality for some true redistribution of wealth.
‘This is not just about taxation. We are all workers. We create the wealth in all sectors. The wealth of our society is made by all of us and should be shared for all.
‘Retail and distribution workers … Some are forced into destitution. We are members of society – the state of society, the economy and politics is all our concern.
‘They’re trying to bring back the idea of new trade unions. Politicians, Tories and Labour do nothing for us. We have to go into our workplaces, towns, communities and campaign on everything: Housing, identity, public services including the NHS.
‘Trade unions must be campaigning that the wealth of our society is distributed for everyone. There are the super-rich, and oligarchs here, not just in Russia.
‘There is control of the media by the Daily Mail, or “bile”, the Express and the Telegraph. They say we are “greedy”, “militant”, “misled” or “communist”. They are saying that somehow our members are being betrayed.
‘You’re not customers. You have to build and control it and direct your leadership. You have to build up and demand change.
‘Don’t worry about careers. Your cause is right, it is about pay RESTORATION.
‘During the pandemic we had not had a pay rise for four years.
‘Our pay ranges from £18,000 to £75,000 – that’s our agreement. We work round the clock. Workers deserve their final salary pension that we negotiate.
‘The rail tops hold back pay and rip up conditions. What they want is the gig economy.
‘They are driving people to work for agencies or become locums at higher rates per hour, but waving goodbye to pensions and terms and conditions. It is cheap labour.
‘Privatisation is snake’s counselling. They are doing it to the NHS, to schools, lecturers.
‘They have done it for years on councils, ripping up what trade unions have negotiated.
‘This is the fight of our generation, of our lives, for the future, for patients. We cannot lose, as we have already started to win with the BMA and the RCN.
‘Consider how you can integrate with the workers movement. There are no special privileges any more. We need a single workers movement to bring us all together.
‘You as activists, talk to all your colleagues over the teapot, as you come off shift, influence those people, use social media to vote YES in this ballot.
‘Ironically the anti-trade union laws, requiring 40% and 50% thresholds have forced us to go into the workplace and win votes.
‘One of the main teaching unions, registered a 91% vote in favour of strike action but only 41% voted. We are getting 80% turnouts and 90% of votes.
‘This is the opportunity of a generation. We must work together.
‘This government said it would only put money on the table if there was more productivity in the NHS. My wife is a nurse. People are burnt out. There is nothing more they can give.
‘They are working 12 to 14 hours and have to go to practice meetings.
‘The words are PAY RESTORATION to keep up with the cost of living crisis. You have to have cash if you go to Lidl and pay your bills, not claps.
‘Staff are facing student debt, the energy crisis and a housing crisis. Staff are subsidising the NHS and not receiving the full value of your labour and qualifications.
‘If you don’t stand up now you are losing the chance for change. The country is crying out for change. We have to win industrially now. Everyone is in it: ‘Teachers, lecturers, nurses.
‘Change this country and society! Victory to the doctors. Victory to the rail workers.’

JOIN TONIGHT’S EMERGENCY DEMONSTRATION
Protect the Right to Strike!
MONDAY 16 JAnuary, 6pm
Opposite 10 Downing Street
Whitehall SW1A 2AA
speakers include:
PCS Pres. Fran Heathcote;
UCU Gen. Sec. JO GRADY
Equity Gen. Sec. PAUL FLEMING
RMT speakers