NOVEMBER GENERAL MEETING
The guest speaker at Chelmsford TUC’s November meeting was Steve Loeber, a member of the RMT, who detailed the background to the current wave of railway strikes. Steve emphasised that these strikes were about retaining guards on trains, with passenger safety being the key issue. In his talk Steve outlined how the number of guards had been decreased over the years, and how some recent incidents would have resulted in deaths if the guard had not been present. Delegates agreed that it was regrettable that the RMT had been forced into taking industrial action as in Scotland and Wales sensible agreements had been reached. Given the importance of the guard delegates regretted that their number had been eroded and said that they would be supporting the RMT by distributing leaflets on its behalf. Steve also expressed his concern about booking-office closures in the region pointing out that many of the machines were frequently defective. After answering a number of questions, Steve was thanked for his very informative talk.
The meeting received reports on Citizens UK which is working to establish an all-Essex Group, issues around community policing, and developments in school restructuring.
At the December meeting, the speaker will be from the Communications Workers’ Union, and delegates will be given an update on its members’ future for pensions, pay and working hours.