Public transport - publicly-owned and -accountable, democratically run by workers and passengers, affordable, accessible, safe, efficient, environmentally-friendly ... cor, that'd be good, wouldn't it?!
On 6 February, I and other members of the TUC Disabled Workers' Committee protested (in the rain!) at Tottenham Court Road station, opposing cuts and supporting the RMT/TSSA London Underground strike.
I wrote this article for my local anti-cuts campaign newsletter in Hackney in August 2010:
April 2010: In 1998, the recently-elected New Labour government announced a ‘public-private partnership’ for London Underground. Operations would remain in the public sector, but the infrastructure would transfer to private consortia on 30-year leases. The unions fought this proposal for five years.
Both London Underground and Tube Lines - and, no doubt, many other companies - will tell us that they "have to" cut jobs because of the economic crisis. But a look at London Underground's history shows that this is not just untrue - it is the opposite of the truth.
On 17 December 2009, the PPP Arbiter published an important document, which may turn out to be a staging post in the collapse of Tube Lines and – following 2007’s similar collapse of Metronet – of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) itself.
In March 2009, Israel Railways, a state-owned company, launched a new policy denying employment to railroad crossing guards who have no permit to carry weapons - that is: who have not served in the Israeli army. This policy will lead to the lay-off of the approximately 150 Arab railway workers who monitor and maintain Israel's level crossings.
In October 2010, French rail workers were on strike. I sent this message of support to them.
I am writing on behalf of the London Transport Region of the National Union of Rail Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) here in the UK.
This is the speech I gave at RMT Women's Conference in launching the union's model Domestic Violence policy:
Today is International Women’s Day. Actually, it’s International Working Women’s Day, set up over 100 years ago by socialist women in the workers’ movement to fight for our rights.