Sky News exposed what the public really thinks about RMT strikes

A Sky News reporter talking about the RMT strikes
Support us and go ad-free

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) has just announced more rail strikes. Naturally, some of the mainstream media are pushing back against the strikes. However, a Sky News reporter managed to sum up the feelings of much of the public – as he dropped a nationalisation bomb live on TV.

RMT: more strikes coming

As the Guardian reported, the RMT has said its members will be striking:

from 6pm on Christmas Eve until 7am on 27 December, curtailing some of the last passenger trains before Christmas and potentially disrupting a wide programme of engineering works on the railway. Most trains do not run on 25 or 26 December.

This is on top of strikes which are happening on 13-14 and 16-17 December. The RMT announced the extra strikes after it rejected a pay offer by Network Rail that was well below the rate of inflation. So, cue the media to try and pit the public against workers – or rather, to divide and conquer us. For example, the Telegraph ran with the headline:

Rail unions refuse to save Christmas from ‘catastrophe’ after rejecting 8pc pay rise

The Evening Standard called the RMT “militant”, saying:

Minister slams union after RMT boss Mick Lynch announces new Christmas walkouts

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

It was a similar story on Twitter. The RMT corrected rogue Telegraph hack Allison Pearson:

Public support for nationalisation and strikes

However, over on Sky News, reporter Dan Whitehead told a different story. He noted that commuters:

are not happy. Lots of them talking to me this morning, disgruntled about the strikes going on, calling for nationalisation, saying this simply can’t go on.

It would be easy to forget amid the right-wing headlines that the public has consistently supported the nationalisation of railways. In fact, since the RMT’s industrial action, support for bringing railways back into public ownership has increased, according to YouGov:

Polling on support for rail nationalisation

However, it is a slightly different story when it comes to public support for striking RMT workers. In October, YouGov polling said that people were “more supportive than opposed” to rail strikes:

But by November, this had changed –  with 47% against, and 41% supporting them. So it seems that the media narratives around striking and Christmas may have swayed some people’s opinions.

It’s worth remembering that the current wave of strikes – from the RMT to the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and NHS workers – is not just about those workers. It’s about everyone who’s underpaid and undervalued having the will to rise up against their corporate capitalist bosses. The unions leading the way at present should be an example to all of us – whatever industry we work in, or even if we are non-workers.

Featured image via Sky News – YouTube

Support us and go ad-free

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. No! Nationalisation is not the answer. The net result of that is the unions have a new boss – the Govt! Give the whole kit and kaboodle to the workers,. Why? Because they’ll have nobody to strike against. Duh!

    2. What Verumque said! (y)

      Out of interest, would we see any different corporate media if THEY were cooperatised? I used to think so.

      Now I think they are genuinely that sociopathic themselves. They are hired BECAUSE of that mentality.

      They are not being forced to hate the people who actually work.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.