Right wing mob attacks rail workers’ picket in Manchester

The rail workers were on strike as part of the ‘Keep the Guard on the Train’ campaign, in defense of train guard jobs, which are critically important for safety.

January 08, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
The right wing group shouted racist slogans against the members of the picket. Photo courtesy Morning Star

A picket of protesting rail workers at Manchester was attacked by a right wing mob dressed in yellow vests on Sunday, the Morning Star reported. Rail workers said that the perpetrators chanted racist slogans and tried to manhandle the striking employees. The rail workers were on strike as part of the ‘Keep the Guard on the Train’ campaign, in defense of train guard jobs, which are critically important for safety.

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) assistant general secretary Steve Hedley condemned the attack by a group of thugs dressed up like the French Yellow Vests protesters who marched on the picket line at Victoria station. RMT has given a call to people to come out in defense of their pickets on January 12 against the right-wing attack.

The Morning Star reported the march of the group which targeted the picket as being part of a series of ‘yellow vests’ protests that were attempted in various parts of Britain on that day in what was likely an attempt to use the banner to push a right wing agenda.

The Manchester Trades Council has also called for support for the striking RMT members.

Rail workers and commuters in the country have been up in arms against the considerable hike in rail fares and cuts in jobs. The rail workers union has blamed the privatization of the railways for the crisis. The union has said that the re-nationalization of the railways is the only plausible way to solve the crisis. As part of the protest campaign, commuters and rail workers have been continuously organizing demonstrations in various railway stations across the country. Prominent political leaders, including Jeremy Corbyn, expressed solidarity and joined the protesters last week.

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