|This leaflet was written as an intervention into strike of underground train drivers.|
"The strike has been brewing for the past 3 years - management treat us like robots" (striking driver interviewed on LBC 20-4-89).
This is the root of the rail strike - management try to increase profits (that is exploitation) in the run up to privatisation more work for less pay, redundancies, one person operated trains, flexible rostering, automatic ticket barriers and machines.
Workers strength lies in their organising and acting together. Unions are hamstrung through being confined to legal tactics in order to safeguard their structure and funds. Recent Tory laws have made all effective action illegal (secondary picketing, instantaneous walkouts without ballots etc.). So to win, it is necessary for everyone to take control through mass meetings (and strike committees made up of recallable delegates and controlled by the mass meetings) where necessary. Undersround workers have already shown how effective this is on the two unofficial day long strikes in April. Management are not amused, "Wildcat strike action cannot help. We can only do a deal through the established negotiating machinery"(LRT spokesman quoted in Evening Standard, May 2nd). If everyone controls things and shares the work the dispute is obviously stronger and it avoids being stitched up by a few officials.
Recent struggles (such as the miners, News International and Post Office strikes) have shown that no group of workers (however powerful) can win on their own. If struggles link up victory is possible - this is why the government quickly gave large pay rises to the Dockers and Railworkers during the miners strike - in order to sabotage a miners victory. Railworkers need to go in delegations directly to other groups of workers to show them how it is in their interest to actively join the struggle. Those already in dispute (dockers, busworkers, BBC) or on the verge (engineers, powerworkers) will obviously be especially open to persuasion. Active support means workers linking the struggle; striking themselves for better pay and conditions, joint pickets - occupations - demonstrations, and joint demands (e.g. £20 for everyone and no changes in working conditions) - refusing to settle until everyone has won.
80s and 90s archive