Nick Ferrari clashes with lifelong Tory voter over his surprise support for RMT strikes

23 November 2022, 15:12

Tory-voting caller insists the economy has been 'mismanaged by a party he voted for his whole life!'

Melissa Fleur Afshar

By Melissa Fleur Afshar

LBC heard from the lifelong Tory voter on his support for the RMT's planned rail strikes. "The economy has been mismanaged by a party that I've voted for my whole life!" the caller said.

Millions are bracing for their Christmas plans to be doused in disruption after the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), headed by Mick Lynch, announced a series of 48-hour train strikes for December and January.

Ahead of the strikes, a caller named Seamus in Wallington spoke out on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast in support of the RMT's plans.

While supporting industrial action isn't a new thing, what's interesting is that Seamus is a lifelong Tory voter.

Seamus made clear that although he's been voting for the Conservative party since 1979, the rail workers have his utmost sympathy.

"I first voted in 1979, I voted Tory and I have done ever since," said Seamus.

"[However] I support working men's rights to defend their ability to have a reasonable life," the caller added

Seamus went on to say that trade unions were different in the 1970s, referencing the numerous clashes between unions and the government that dominated the decade's headlines.

"They [the unions] needed control and breaking," said Seamus.

The caller then said that the unions of today deserve our support because the "economy is no longer working for ordinary working people."

The caller's strong views weren't left unchallenged by Nick Ferrari. The presenter raised that an economist who had appeared on LBC earlier had said that, "over the last ten years, [rail staff] have had a 39% lift in their median wage, as opposed to 28% across the rest of the country."

"Some of these drivers are on nearly £70,000 per annum," said Nick.

"Some of them are making almost a grand a week for driving a train, come on!"

Seamus failed to meet eye to eye with Nick on the matter.

"You and I Nick, we earn salaries that cost the cost of living [crisis] will be able to ride out, it won't necessarily be as uncomfortable [for us]," said Seamus.

While the caller didn't reveal his occupation, Seamus had previously said that he works with people "who are really struggling".

"I am terrified that some of my workers are going to food banks, the economy has never forced working people in numbers into food banks the way it has now," said the caller.

READ MORE: Nightmare before Christmas: Millions face travel hell as RMT announces string of 48-hour train strikes

The RMT strikes will mean that approximately 40,000 members across Network Rail, as well as 14 other train operating companies, will walk out on the 13, 14, 16 and 17 December. A second wave of strike action has been planned for the 3, 4, 6 and 7 January.

This follows the earlier announcement that a large rail strike will be staged on the 26 November.

Network Rail had already planned engineering works from the 23 December until the 3 January, with key routes from London stations cancelled or reduced.

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