KATE OSBORNE: The Government is playing politics with the rail workers’ dispute

As a lifelong Trade Unionist and supporter of workers fighting for better pay, terms and conditions, I am proud to support the thousands of railway workers across the country who have been taking industrial action this week.

By Kate Osborne MP
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 12:18 pm
“RMT members taking strike action are of course standing up for their rights - but they are also standing up for commuters.”
“RMT members taking strike action are of course standing up for their rights - but they are also standing up for commuters.”

This out-of-touch Government has underfunded and mismanaged our public transport network for more than a decade and enough is enough.

RMT members taking strike action are of course standing up for their rights - but they are also standing up for commuters - demanding a safe, well-staffed railway where people are put before profit.

These key workers deserve our full support and they are not the only ones: teachers, NHS staff, local government workers and many more are all struggling to cope with the cost of living crisis.

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This Government has failed to deal with the crisis, and are playing politics with this RMT dispute, threatening to legislate against the right to strike.

We should be tackling the false narrative that pits railway workers against the travelling public, that states workers are overpaid.

Workers have had real terms pay cuts for decades and are now facing a cost of living crisis, food poverty and energy bill rises - all political choices of this Government.

Workers have been left with no choice and no one takes strike action lightly.

Yesterday during Prime Minister’s Questions, I pointed out it is not just rail workers that are on strike, Royal Mail workers, NHS workers, teachers and even barristers are on the verge of taking industrial action, fighting for better pay, terms and conditions. All workers are struggling to cope with the worst cost of living crisis in history.

Yet this Government are planning to boost City bosses’ pay whilst demanding “wage restraint” for everyone else

I asked Boris Johnson when is he is going to stop giving meaningless sound bites and instead support working people many of whom are slipping further and further below the breadline.

Again, the Prime Minister failed to acknowledge his Government must do more. These are workers who keep our country moving safely 365 days a year. The least they deserve is to be paid properly and feel secure in their jobs.