Our solidarity today to the LUAS workers striking for decent pay rates. The crisis was used by the government and capitalist class to drive down wages and ensure that a bigger share of profits went to shareholders. The LUAS fight is a fight for all of us as a victory should be a green light to all workers to demand pay rises, including the recovery of the money lost in the cuts imposed under the crisis. Across the world the share of income that goes to the richest 1% has soared while that going tooth rest of us has been slashed, we need to fight to reverse this.
We also want to see well organised and powerful public transport workers because this isn’t simply a questions of wages but also of defence of the environment. As we wrote a few months back ““The provision of public transport on a not-for-profit basis is also vital to reducing carbon-emissions and to creating an ecologically sustainable society. In a recent Environmental Protection Agency report, 100% of respondents to a survey of local authorities felt that local public transport services were inadequate in their local areas; an estimated 380,000 people living in rural areas do not have access to the transport services they require. Climate change provides us with compelling reasons not just for the defence of public transport services but for their radical re-imagination, reconstruction and expansion.”
Public transport workers and their unions are well placed to lead the fight for decent public transport and in particular to argue that the social good provided by public transport is such that profit making provides no test at all of its usefulness. The influence of neoliberal ideology and the individualised nature of transport needs means its a hard issue to build a movement around but transport workers already form a substantial core for such a movement.
WORDS: Andrew Flood (Follow Andrew on Twitter )