Throwback to June 2022
It’s becoming more and more apparent that the press is wanting the general public to hate transport workers. This isn’t the first time that the press have run with the narrative created by the government. We saw the exact same thing happen in the eighties when the Miners strikes.
Now, it’s our transport workers. Trade Unions are bringing transport to a hault in the UK after the government announced job cuts and pay freezes. It’s unacceptable to be cutting costs, causing job losses, and forcing workers to live on a wage that is below the national living wage when inflation has risen to 11.1% and is still on the rise.
The response that we’ve received from the Prime Minister, who earns around £150,000 a year, is “take the pay cut”.
It must be nice being earning £72 an hour while the rest of us are earning £9.50 and having to use food banks so that we can afford to heat our houses.
Sadly, the majority of the press has taken the government’s side – suggesting that workers should be happy with what they’ve been offered so far. An example of this is Arriva Yorkshire. They’re the only bus company to service my village, and we’ve not had buses for almost a month. Arriva are painting Unite as intolerable and unfair after they’d offered the union 8.2% to 12.7%. According to Arriva, these are generous; and of course, the press agrees.
But it’s not. Because it’s not a fair wage to new staff who they’re trying to recruit, and it’s not fair for the drivers who are bending over backwards to keep their company running.
The press are doing the same with train workers. Saying that they’re stopping people from getting to hospitals and appointments, stopping people from getting to work and taking their children to school.
The reality is, the press is trying to guilt trip workers into giving in while also angering the public into hating train workers for striking at all.
However, if they don’t strike, who is going to support the train workers who are stuck on the same pay, year after year, while inflation continues to rise? Without the strike, the government will cut jobs and freeze pay, which will lead to less train workers. After all, nobody is going to stick in a job where the pay isn’t enough to pay their bills.
Of course, that’s the response the general public likes giving. “Not happy with your job? Get a new job,” says the people that would then be extremely unhappy when their buses are cancelled due to no drivers, or their train timetables are reduced to accomodate fewer workers being available.
Whatever you hear from the press, remember this: worker rights were fought for by trade unions; worker rights were fought for via strikes. Without strikes and social unrest, there is no progress. Support workers striking – they deserve to be able to afford rent, food, and heating. Nobody should have to choose.
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