James Wong-McSweeney explains why he went on strike…
Having read the columns by Rachel Large and Kay Taylor, neither of whom supported the Tube strike, I thought you’d all like to hear from someone who did. I’m a member of the RMT and have been since I joined London Underground two-and-a-half years ago. You might think that the RMT is always on strike but we’re not – in fact, this was my first strike since I joined. I did it willingly and of my own free will. Nobody made me do it, let alone Bob Crow, whom I’ve never met.
Despite what Rachel believes, I did it because not one, or two, but seven injustices have happened – and 1,000 more are going to happen in London Underground and 3,000 more in Transport for London. That’s 4,000 job cuts, meaning 4,000 people out of work, no matter what it’s dressed up as. And all of this to pay back a debt that would never have happened if Gordon Brown hadn’t forced through the privatisation of the maintenance of London Underground.
That’s why I went on strike. Not to p*** off the travelling public but to defend my fellow union members. Why? So that when the day comes that I need help – and it will come – they will be there to defend me. Strength through unity: that’s what being in a union is all about.