Following an 85% ballot in favour of strike action, RMT train driver members on Arriva Trains Wales were out on strike today. The action is in response to a paltry offer on pay. The drivers are some of the lowest paid in the country.
Below is a report, courtesy of Alex Gordon.
“Report from Cardiff – strike and picket lines are going brilliantly. The RMT drivers are out 100%, and the vast majority of ASLEF drivers have refused to cross picket lines in Cardiff. We had pickets out at 1AM this morning to meet drivers booking on for the earliest turns, and all refused to cross the lines. Arriva Trains Wales ha…ve given up any hope of running a service on the Valleys and have suspended it completely until Tuesday the 28 December. On the mainline, although they hoped to be able to run a service, it has been decimated by the actions of RMT drivers striking and their ASLEF colleagues refusing to cross picket lines, and the number of services run out of Cardiff up to 06.45 was a fraction of what would normally be running in and out of the main station in the Welsh capital on a Monday morning.
Picket lines have been operating in several locations around Cardiff Central to cover as many entrances as possible, as management have tried to set up booking-on points at alternative locations to circumvent the picket lines – unsuccessfully in most cases!! Picket lines have also been organised at Rhymney Depot at the top of the Rhymney Valley, where not a single driver booked on for duty this morning, and Treherbert Depot at the top of the Rhondda Valley. The service down each valley would ordinarily carry large numbers of people into Cardiff in the morning peaks and throughout the day for shopping.
The resolve of the strikers is absolutely solid and their morale is very high, and they are prepared to take as many days of strike action as is necessary to force ATW back to the negotiating table with a realistic pay offer, realistic terms and conditions, and without the strings that the company seem to believe must form part of any offer they make.
In a splendid display of unity from other workers and Trades Unionists, members of Cardiff Trades Council, the UCU union and the PCS union all came out to the pickets to show solidarity at 04.00 this morning.”