Swansea railworkers in First Great Western strike
24th August 2015
There were next to no First Great Western trains (there was only one that pickets were aware of) running out Swansea Station, when Socialist Party members visited to offer our solidarity to striking train staff.
Pickets were pleased with support they were getting from train travellers. Passengers are realising that staffing cuts associated with First Great Western’s (FGW) proposals, could have a detrimental effect on safety, security and the quality of service they receive. FGW propose to do away with buffet cars, guards on trains and reduce station staff. The potential consequences in a major incident of having less staff to help passengers are something that doesn’t seem to concern FGW but it does concern the public.
Management seemed to have got the hump, sending out someone to demand pickets and their supporters move from under shelter at the main entrance, into the pouring rain. If FGW doesn’t back down then RMT members have given notice that next weekend’s bank holiday will be severely disrupted by 3 days of action, involving engineering members as well as train staff.
There’s a lot of strike action scheduled in Swansea next weekend. As well as the RMT action, PCS staff in DVLA are due to strike over reducing unsocial hours’ payments and, in a separate dispute, PCS members employed by National Museums Wales will take their latest action against management proposals to scrap unsocial hours’ payments altogether. Swansea Socialist Party members will be out offering solidarity to strikers in all these disputes.