Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

Posted on 30 August 2015 at 22:59 GMT

Swansea TC rally outside the Waterfront museum including strikers from DVLA, Museums Wales and FGW.

Swansea TC rally outside the Waterfront museum including strikers from DVLA, Museums Wales and FGW.   (Click to enlarge)

Swansea: Rail and PCS strikers rally together

Ronnie Job

Swansea Socialist Party members took solidarity to picket lines of two unions in three Swansea workforces on Saturday 29 August before joining an excellent rally of RMT and PCS members, coordinated by Swansea Trades Council.

RMT members in First Great Western (FGW) followed up their action on the previous Saturday with a three-day strike over the bank holiday weekend. There were pickets out at the engineering depot and at Swansea station. FGW wants to cut guards and buffet cars from trains.

RMT strikers outside Swansea station, 29.8.15

RMT strikers outside Swansea station, 29.8.15   (Click to enlarge)

Addressing the rally, RMT branch secretary Owen Herbert pointed out that these proposed changes threaten the safety of passengers and the quality of service received.

First Great Western strikers at Paddington station, London, 29.8.15, photo by Rob Williams

First Great Western strikers at Paddington station, London, 29.8.15, photo by Rob Williams   (Click to enlarge)

Socialist Party member Ruth Williams in offering her support to the strikers, stressed the importance of keeping guards and other staff on trains for disabled people for many of whom train travel could otherwise become inaccessible. As the new RMT banner puts it, "defend jobs, services and safety".


Supporters of the PCS pickets at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency call centre seemed to far outnumber those going in to work. This was the second of three days of action (the third is on Tuesday) for PCS members in DVLA over plans to reduce unsocial hours payments.

PCS pickets at Swansea DVLA contact centre, 29.8.15

PCS pickets at Swansea DVLA contact centre, 29.8.15   (Click to enlarge)

Call centre worker Steph Bennett told the rally that managers drafted in to cover the strike, who don't work on the phones, will be severely struggling during the action.

The National Waterfront Museum was shut because of the strike action by PCS members at seven sites of Amgueddfa Cymru / National Museums of Wales. Here management plan to get rid of unsocial hours payments altogether. PCS Amgueddfa Cymru branch secretary Peter Hill explained that this would mean an effective 25% pay cut for some workers. Like all the strikers in each dispute, Peter stressed the determination of the strikers to see the dispute through.

PCS members from Museums Wales and DVLA outside Waterfront museum, 29.8.15

PCS members from Museums Wales and DVLA outside Waterfront museum, 29.8.15   (Click to enlarge)

The Tories and bosses may have thought that they would be in for an easy ride after winning the general election but the determination shown by these and other strikers shows that they are mistaken. The votes for action in all three of these disputes would have met even the thresholds proposed in the Tories' new anti-strike bill.

Strikers drew strength from each other and from the pledges of support from trade unionists and others who had come to offer solidarity. Everybody felt that the best chance of winning in every dispute is if we all strike together.

Visteon pensioners' tribute to Swansea Trades Council


Mike Gard, Swansea Visteon Pensioners Action Group treasurer presenting a cheque to Swansea Trades Council officers Alec Thraves, Ronnie Job & Clive Williams.   (Click to enlarge)

After the Swansea Trades Council strike rally Mike Gard, treasurer of the Swansea Visteon Pensioners Action Group, presented a cheque for £1405.27 to the officers of the Trades Council. Mike said:

"We have wound up our campaign fund and our VPAG officers agreed to donate the final amount to Swansea Trades Council in recognition of the support they gave us during our long campaign.

"Alec, representing Swansea Trades Council, attended almost every meeting over five years as well as joining us in solidarity on our numerous protests, lobbies and demos.

"Swansea Trades Council even put us at the head of their May Day march through the city centre one year which gave us a huge boost.

"We felt this donation would help the trades council to assist other workers in struggle in the same way as they helped us".

Plymouth - FGW strike

Over the busiest bank holiday weekend of the year, there were picket lines at stations all across the south west to as far as London, to oppose proposed job losses with the introduction of the new Hitachi high speed trains.

First Great Western's plan will see services downsized and jobs cut. This private company wants to see 'drivers closing the doors', suggesting that on-board staff won't be present.

It has also stated that it doesn't want a buffet car added to the new service.

On the picket line, one worker told me: "The railways are not run for the public, it's for the shareholders".

Another worker said, on the issue of ownership of the railways: "Renationalisation, it makes sense"; a view that the Socialist Party fully supports, along with the rail trade unions and a majority of the public.

Thomas Sloman, Plymouth Socialist Party

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 30 August 2015 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


Related links:


triangleSwansea Trades Council pledges to fight local government cuts

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Fighting to end women's oppression

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Can the capitalist media block socialist change?

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Do wage rises cause inflation?

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Socialist nationalisation - what it is and why we need it


triangleRail workers strike in Sheffield

triangleEast Mids rail conductors force concessions, train managers' dispute continues

triangleMore fares misery for passengers - renationalise the railways

triangleMore fares misery for passengers


trianglePCS Elections 2022: Time for new union leadership

trianglePCS consultative pay and conditions ballot - vote 'Yes'

trianglePCS 2022 elections


triangleWorkers and students unite and fight

triangleJust Eat couriers continue action to fight pay cut

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Restore Cardiff's slashed services



Just Eat couriers continue action to fight pay cut



University workers continue strike against bosses' attacks



Tube workers strike in defence of pay, pensions and conditions



Workers and students unite and fight



Fighting fees and marketisation after 2 March student walkout



Brighton Green and Labour cuts - workers and communities fight back



Surrey: Unions and campaigns say stand as an anti-cuts candidate



Newham City Farm - closed with no consultation



London Socialist Party women's meeting



1 March: Socialist Party new website launch



Coventry bin strikers lobby strike-breaking Labour council



Scunny scaffs action forces bosses to the table



Usdaw: 'Reinstate Max' week of action



Trade union support for standing anti-cuts election candidates

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793



Alphabetical listing

July 2022

June 2022

May 2022

April 2022

March 2022

February 2022

January 2022