Sheffield railway station rally: Unions back rail strike and warn ‘enough is enough’ over cost of living
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Speakers from Sheffield Trades Union Council and the local delegates from several other major unions joined the ‘Enough is Enough’ rally in the public space in front of the Midland Station, with pickets from the RMT union joining the rally from their picket line further up the road.
The protest happened during the RMT’s latest strike day in their ongoing battle over pay.
They were joined by union officials from further afield, including Chesterfield.
Maxine Bowler, vice president of Sheffield Trade Union Council, opened the event, telling the crowd that what they were doing today was ‘incredibly important’.
She said: “It’s important that we show solidarity with the wave of strike action that’s taking place.
"This rally and the demonstration that follows has been called by the RMT, the Trades Council, the CWU, ASLEF, TSSA and is supported by loads and loads of the trade unions and community groups. Because we understand that we are being forced to pay the price of the cost of living crisis – and we want to say it’s not us who should pay for it. It is the people who have been given the handouts to the rich. So thank you for coming.”
Joe Howard, from rail union ASLEF said: "I think the big part of this, with the different banners that are here and the different people representing different organisations, just shows that there is a united strength out there against this austerity and these cuts.
"This is not about individual disputes – this is about workers in this country getting a fair deal and going forward, I think that’s where we’ve got to be. We’ve got to have these shows of strength.”
Gaz Jackson, regional organiser for the RMT union was on the picket line with fellow railwaymen earlier.
He said members were on their sixth day of action over terms and conditions, pay and pensions, adding today was about public awareness and solidarity.
“The response that we’ve had from the public has been absolutely fantastic,” he said, adding RMT members were determined to win their dispute. He said some of those striking had not had a pay rise for three or four years.