This is from a BBC report about forthcoming rail strikes by the RMT union:
It is not for the government to intervene to stop rail strikes, the transport secretary has said – despite unions calling for talks.
Grant Shapps said the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) request for a meeting was a “stunt” and claimed it had been “determined to go on strike”.
The union said politicians were failing to prevent three days of industrial action.
Labour claimed ministers wanted the strikes to go ahead to “sow division”.
Strikes will take place on almost all major lines across Britain on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, as well as on the London Underground on Tuesday.
Is it a stunt by the union, though? Or is it one by the government?
Let’s look at what the Conservatives’ Facebook page has to say:
Keir Starmer’s own MPs back the week of rail chaos – with no concerns for the commutes 𝙘𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙚𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙙, operations 𝙙𝙚𝙡𝙖𝙮𝙚𝙙 and businesses 𝙞𝙢𝙥𝙖𝙘𝙩𝙚𝙙.
Labour’s Strikes will prevent doctors, nurses and patients getting to hospital. Instead of backing the NHS, Labour are backing strike chaos.
There’s nothing about the reason for the strikes, you’ll notice.
So let’s find out from somebody who actually uses the train services likely to be affected. This is by Paula Peters, a long-time disability-campaigner friend:
A lady passenger was trying to book a taxi to get to work for next Tuesday first day of rail strike. Taxi told her sorry you’ve got to book on the day.
She was calling the rail workers all sorts so I put her straight on a few things.
I said, you use the rail network a lot right? See you got kids there.
Said the RMT are striking to not only fight for their terms & conditions, asking for increase in pay as they haven’t had one a long time and prices are rising, but they are fighting rail maintenance cuts, cuts to maintenance workers hours, stop the closure of ticket offices, fight against the reduction of services.
What do you mean rail maintenance? She said. I said you see engineering work sometimes don’t you? Replacing track, repairing it. She said yes. I said well the government want to cut rail maintenance jobs and it puts your safety at risk, because if track isn’t maintained there would be a serious rail accident which could lead to serious injury and loss of life.
She thought for a moment. She looked at her kids. Imagine if you your kids your husband were caught up in a rail accident and one of your family were seriously hurt.
That’s what the RMT are fighting back against. To protect your safety and everyone who travels on the rail network.
By this time 30 passengers on the carriage I was in were listening intently.
I said, look, next week may inconvenience you, but think about rail maintenance cuts, cuts to services, lack of ticket offices. Lack of platform staff. That these guys have families to feed and they are struggling too.
There was silence. Then a conductor whose name is Chris walks through the train.
I said excuse me are you RMT. He said he was. I said you on strike Tuesday? He said he was.
I stood up shook his hand. Then shouted out, SOLIDARITY to the RMT!
The carriage erupted into cheers.
When you actually know a little about matter like this, it can change your perspective completely. Are any of you opposing the rail strikes now?
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