Tube driver gives message to public about strikes
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Thousands of rail workers will walk out next week in a three-day national strike. It is warned this will cause severe disruption across the UK, including – perhaps especially – for Britons heading to and from work.
This comes after the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers’ union (RMT) confirmed that talks have failed to bring an end to a row over pay, jobs and conditions.
Tube driver Mark Harding this morning appeared on GB News to defend the decision of his union and his colleagues.
Asked what he would say to those disrupted by the stoke, Mr Harding responded: “Sometimes you have to suffer a little bit.
“If they cut services in general and maintenance, in the future, services are going to be disrupted further. So I hope they support the strikes.”
He added that the action could actually benefit Britain’s wider working population in the future.
The rube driver suggested: “I hope that if we get a pay rise and if we defend our pensions, maybe it will give an impetus for them to defend their working conditions.”
He said he has also been on strike in the past in defence of working conditions for NHS staff.
The action has been described by the Guardian as “Britain’s biggest rail strike in more than 30 years”.
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It has prompted a bitter national debate, with some judging the strike as justified and others branding it as a nuisance.
Labour front bencher Wes Streeting initially backed the strikes in public but it was later reported he apologies for overstepping the mark.
The Conservative party hit back against the politicking, asking in a post on Twitter: “Streeting apologises behind closed doors for ‘bad publicity’, but will he apologise to the public facing massive disruption from the militant union barons bankrolling Labour?”
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Brexiteer and trade unionist Paul Embery in turn branded this an overstep, noting that “union leaders are not ‘barons’; they are elected”.
He added: “And strike action can only be taken if a majority of members have voted for it in a secret ballot.
“The Tories aren’t – and never will be – on the side of workers.”
After arguing that the public must suffer a little for what he perceived to be the greater good for British workers, Mr Harding noted that he does have sympathy for those who will be impacted by the action.
He told GB News: “I have sympathy for people, especially self-employed people and people who won’t be paid because they can’t get to work during the strike.”
The driver said “they should be fighting with their employer for alternatives”.
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