Around 100 people attended an RMT picket line outside Ramsgate station yesterday (August 20).
The National Union of Railway, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) has called a strike over issues including wages, conditions and safety concerns for workers and passengers amid the threat of safety-critical job cuts, the introduction of driver-only trains and the closing of tickets. desks.
Members of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) and ASLEF (Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firefighters) also joined the industrial action.
As the action continued this summer, Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps threatened to impose new contracts on the railway workers. The RMT says it is really about ‘firing and rehiring’ on worse terms. The MP urged the RMT to accept a two-year 8% pay offer from Network Rail.
RMT South East representative Mick Jordan said: “It was another fantastic turnout at the Ramsgate picket line with RMT members heading into a sixth day of industrial action.
“Despite government rhetoric suggesting it will fire and rehire railway workers, morale was high and there is an unwavering determination among workers and supporters to stick together until a deal is reached.”
Ruth McDermott (pictured) said: ‘I am on the picket line because I stand in solidarity with the RMT – they are striking for all workers, they are striking for all of us. They have the organization and the power to effect real change and set a precedent.
“Everyone needs a raise. This is the cost of the greed crisis and we need a redistribution of wealth so that people can live comfortably without fear of going hungry or cold in the world’s fifth largest economy.
Health activists were also on the picket line. Pauline Farrance (above) from Save Our NHS In Kent (SONIK) showed her support for workers by giving one of the RMT pickets a loaf of homemade bread.
A SONIK spokesman said: “We are united with all those who are fighting this government and its reckless and inhumane policies.”
The RMT warned against an “indefinite” strike campaign unless a negotiated agreement with the workers is reached. A strike disrupted rail services across the entire network, including to the southeast, in June, July and this month.