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We must not give in to the blackmail of a rail strike – this is a crucial moment for Britain

WERER Vice Chair Angela Rayner got lucky this week.

Just as she was being questioned by the BBC about the impending national rail strike, she begged that, sorry, she had a train to catch. end of the interview.

The blind loyalty of some Labor politicians to the union cause cannot obscure the all too visible truths about this dispute

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The blind loyalty of some Labor politicians to the union cause cannot obscure the all too visible truths about this disputeCredit: Alamy

I hope she made it wherever she wanted to go. Too bad, though, because we missed Angela’s full take on the railroad’s toughest industrial dispute in decades.

Including how it differs from its leader, Sir Keir Starmer, who appears to be opposed to this disruptive and unnecessary interruption.

A week into Tuesday, unless sanity prevails, the nation’s trains will mostly grind to a halt.

Not for a day, but for the better part of a week.

And more strikes could follow over the summer if the hard-left cabal that now runs the RMT union doesn’t prevail.

The RMT decided to resign on June 21st, 23rd and 25th. But the backlog of interruptions will also be reflected in the days that follow.

Maximum public pain with minimum potential impact on rail workers’ wage packages – seven days of completely avoidable disruption for the price of three!

That is the cynical calculation of the RMT leadership. Well, we’ll see.

In the past, railway workers were able to top up wage packages cut by strikes by working overtime on the following days. That won’t happen this time.

Railway managers and ministers are determined to ensure strikers cannot milk the system to maintain their income while causing misery to the public.

And where is Labor in all this? make your choice

While Sir Keir tries to keep his head down, his shadow front seat has other ideas.

Take Wes Streeting – he says if he were an RMT member he would vote for a strike. Lisa Nandy is meanwhile “with the railway workers”.

And former Corbyn deputy John McDonnell is tugging at the leash for a 1970s-style labor dispute. “I’ll be on the picket line,” he promises.

Scratch the surface of Starmer’s supposedly modernized Labor Party and you’ll find unconstructed Corbynism.

No wonder Labor is still soaked in rail union funds. The three largest rail unions, RMT, Aslef and TSSA, have donated £1million to Labor over the past five years, including donations to individual MPs.

But the blind loyalty of some Labor politicians to the union cause cannot obscure the all too visible truths about this dispute.

Railways are still bleeding money after two years of the pandemic, during which they expended £16billion of taxpayers’ money to survive.

That’s £600 for every household in the country – money that has saved the industry from mass layoffs.

With £96bn being invested in rail infrastructure by this government, rail has a potentially bright future. But we must rid it of outdated work practices.

Only 12 percent of train tickets are bought at ticket offices, but the RMT will not know of any closure.

The rail operators and Network Rail, which operates the route, want to negotiate the pay in good faith and a reasonable raise is available.

But of course we cannot keep up with the current inflation because that will fuel an inflationary spiral of wages through the economy – just like in the dark days of the 1970s.

But instead of negotiating in good faith, the RMT board has decided to put a gun to the industry’s head and declare strikes before talks have even started in earnest.

We cannot give in to blackmail. This is a crucial moment for our economy. Are we modernizing and moving toward greater productivity and prosperity?

Or return to an era thought long gone – that of predatory union barons, stagnant industry and double-digit inflation?
We all know the answer.

Labor MP Angela Rayner dodged an interview about rail strikes because she had to catch a train

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Labor MP Angela Rayner dodged an interview about rail strikes because she had to catch a trainPhoto credit: Getty
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says Britain must not be held hostage over rail strikes

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says Britain must not be held hostage over rail strikesCredit: PA:Press Association

https://www.the-sun.com/news/5542937/grant-shapps-cannot-yield-strike/ We must not give in to the blackmail of a rail strike – this is a crucial moment for Britain

DevanCole

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