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?!
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.
I wrote this article for Labour Briefing in April 2013:
On International Working Women’s Day, set up over 100 years ago by socialist women in the workers’ movement to fight for our rights, RMT launched our model policy for transport employers about domestic violence.
The underground railway (Metro) in Finland's capital city Helsinki is due to go 'driverless' in 2016. I discussed this with Finnish trade unionists Jussi and Satu, and heard a story that has important lessons for London Underground workers and passengers trying to prevent the same calamity happening in London.