As many daily commuters know by now, national rail strikes organised by the RMT union have been taking place since Tuesday in demand for a pay rise of at least 7% to offset living costs.
Despite negative comments from people online who are enraged that their means of transportation has been affected, 35% of the population are in support of the rail workers on strike according to a survey by YouGov. In fact, many people have been inspired to join a union of their own to fight for better working conditions.
Mike Lynch, RMT general secretary and union leader, says:
“RMT members are leading the way for all workers in this country who are sick and tired of having their pay and conditions slashed by a mixture of big business profits and government policy.”
Media appearances by Mick Lynch, leader of the RMT union, have made him a hero in the eyes of many for staying cool under pressure despite many efforts from journalists to undermine him; such as Piers Morgan challenging Lynch over a Facebook profile picture of a baddie from the 1960s show Thunderbirds.
This media campaign has proven to be successful by a recent report from Workello which showed that as of Wednesday, there has been a 184 per cent increase in Google searches for ‘join a union’ and searches for ‘how to strike’ were up by 135 per cent. Additionally, there has been a 700 per cent daily increase in visits to the Trades Union Congress (TUC) page in how to join a union.
“Instead of helping workers with the cost of living crisis, Conservative ministers are demanding that we all accept real pay cuts," says Frances O’Grady, general secretary for TUC, “But people can see trade unions defending the pay of their members. And it’s not just the rail workers. Unions have been winning higher pay and saving jobs in workplaces across the country.
“By standing together with your workmates in a union, you have more power. You can win a fairer pay deal. But you need to be in it to win it. And the more people who join a union, the stronger their power.”
Since the RMT union strikes have started, the Unite and GMT union has also announced that a total of 700 British Airway workers will be striking this summer due to a 10% pay cut.
The National Education Union has also warned that teachers will be taking industrial action this autumn if the Government does not make an “inflation-plus” increase after inflation hit 9.1 percent on Wednesday.
“Working people deserve a pay rise and if they don’t get a pay rise they will be poorer,” says Lynch, “…The British working classes should not have to beg to address the cost-of-living crisis that faces us.”
To find out how to join the union that is best for you, visit: https://www.tuc.org.uk/joinunion