Government Bails out the Bosses - What about the Workers?

Nicked and condensed from the Bakerloo branch newsletter

Capitalism is in crisis: world markets collapse, banks are part-nationalised and the government bails out big business to the tune of billions of pounds. Naturally the talk in the mess room is “what’s happening with the pay negotiations?”

Workers on the Tube want to safeguard our livelihood. Many workers are mortgaged up to the eyeballs and seeing our homes sink into negative equity. But will London’s Tube workers be treated as favourably as London’s bankers?

The hypocrisy from government and bosses has shone through in the last weeks. When other industries looked to the government for help, eg. the mining, steel or car industries, the working class was told ‘the free market rules’, ‘state intervention is bad’. Now the bosses who have been speculating, gambling and profiteering for decades are in trouble, suddenly state intervention is essential. They have even sunk so low as to blame the current crisis on the lack of regulation. You couldn’t make this up.

The government may have the cheek to urge workers to ‘tighten our belts’ to pay for capitalism’s crisis. Already Mandelson has postponed the extension of flexible working rights to parents of children aged 6-16. But if ‘spend your way out of the crisis’ is good enough for the bosses, then it’s good enough for us.

We are due a pay rise in April 2009. We want a substantial rise, on or soon after this date, not months later. We want no politicking around the issue of the Olympics. And we want a one year deal.

The RMT will be submitting our written claim this month. We will be meeting London Underground in mid December. Get ready…

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