THE attempt to cast this week’s rail strike as a noble struggle against repressive bosses does not wash.
Instead, a few dinosaurs from the Left are stirring up a futile class-war against a democratically elected government.
A union member I met recently at Poole station told me of meetings he’d attended around the country where the only topic being discussed was how to get rid of these “Tory scum”.
No mention of providing a clean, reliable and efficient service.
What really gets my goat is that these demands come despite the Government spending £16 billion – that’s £600 for every household - to ensure trains kept running.
As Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Parliament last week, “ … not a single railway worker had to be furloughed or lost their job – not one”.
The RMT union has already refused an offer of three per cent, plus productivity bonus, while insisting that no jobs should be lost, nor working practices reformed.
That stance is unreasonable when figures show a significant reduction in rail journeys post pandemic.
If unions really want to protect their members, it’s essential they work with employers to ensure the rail network is fit for the future, not locked in the past.
That mentality now sees Network Rail, after more than 60 meetings between employers and unions, planning to cut 1,800 jobs and overhaul working hours.
The government, meanwhile, must stand firm in this dispute, not least because where one leads, others will follow.
Our battered economy is still recovering post pandemic and huge salary rises of the sort being demanded by the public sector are unsustainable.
And, let’s not forget, it’s the struggling private sector that pays for them.