As the RMT says it’s striking the right-wing media loses it

RMT on TalkTV with Julia Hartley Brewer
Support us and go ad-free

RMT (Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) union members have voted for the biggest strike on the railways in over a quarter of a century. Predictably, the right-wing media and politicians have already got the knives out for the workers and their union.

RMT versus the rich

The strike, across nearly all train operators and Network Rail, is broad. The RMT wrote that:

pay, no compulsory redundancies, and a guarantee there will be no detrimental changes to working practices.

Network Rail has proposed cutting 2,500 safety critical maintenance jobs which… would make rail accidents more likely and lead to ‘trains flying off the tracks’.

Almost as soon as the RMT proposed the strike ballot, the government acted. Grant Shapps was reportedly considering changing the law in response. He was looking at making it a legal requirement that a minimum number of railway staff have to work during strike action. RMT boss Mick Lynch accused Shapps of trying:

to make effective strike action illegal on the railways

Not that this stopped the RMT. It balloted its members on the action, and the results are now in.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Everybody out

The union wrote:

71% of those balloted took part in the vote with 89% voting in favour of strike action and only 11% voting against.

The union will now be demanding urgent talks with Network Rail and the 15 train operating companies that were balloted to find a negotiated settlement to the dispute over pay, jobs and safety.

Already, the corporate media is losing its shit.

Right-wing pushback against the RMT

Sky News wrote (without saying who said it) that:

Services could be reduced to around a fifth of the normal weekday timetable. It is also possible trains will only run for part of the day, such as from 7am to 7pm, and only on main lines.

The Times decided to focus on RMT bosses earning a decent wage. Of course, Rupert Murdoch’s outlet didn’t frame it like that. It wrote:

It has emerged that rail union bosses took home nearly £500,000 in pay and perks between them during the first year of the pandemic — including more than £4,000 in car benefits.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail took pleasure in reporting on Good Morning Britain (GMB) host Richard Madeley’s comments about the strike. It screamed:

‘You have your hands around the windpipe of the country’: Richard Madeley blasts militant union boss who’s holding UK hostage with threat of crippling summer rail strikes unless train drivers get 11% rise to average £59k salary

TalkTV’s right-wing zealot Julia Hartley-Brewer waded into the debate in a way only she could:

Back to the 70s

Over at the Telegraph, it ran a hit piece reminiscent of a headline it published about former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. The article’s headline originally was:

The unions cannot grab back power like the 1970s

Then, the Telegraph changed it to:

This is the unions’ chance to seize control of Britain – and they’re taking it

Its ‘chief city commentator’ (whatever the hell that job is), Ben Marlow, wrote that the RMT strike poses:

a very real risk that the trade union movement reasserts its grip on Britain, in a throwback to the ruinous 1970s when militant bosses repeatedly brought it to a standstill.

Of course, all this is entirely predictable. Whenever there’s a whiff of workers fighting to improve their lives under the corporate capitalist system, its gatekeepers in the right-wing media strike back. We can’t have power being taken away from the rich, after all.

Featured image via TalkTV – YouTube

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us