'This rail strike is going nuclear', says James O'Brien as RMT gears up for Christmas strikes

6 December 2022, 12:35

James O'Brien is absolutely fed up of people blaming the RMT for the UK's 'joke' railways

By Phoebe Dampare Osei

After RMT announce further strikes over Christmas, James O'Brien shares his exasperation with people blaming the RMT for the UK's "joke" of a railway system.

After RMT rejected the offer of an 8 per cent pay rise this week, James O’Brien gave his opinion on the “joke” of the railways.

He read out the list of strike dates - 13th, 14th, 16th and 17th December. RMT will also be striking from 6pm on Christmas Eve to 6am on 27 December.

James said: “I’ve had enough now, I’ve had enough of pretending that there are two equal sides to these stories.”

“Our railways have been treated like cash cows by people who largely don’t even live here”, he continued, explaining they are “owned in large parts by foreign governments”.

He compared the system “to fruit machines which are rigged to deliver jackpots on every spin” and that “the only losers, the people who never hit three melons in a row, are the passengers”.

James added: “The idea that the RMT are responsible for the decline in the quality of rail service and indeed the need for better terms and conditions for its members is just beyond a joke now!”

He jabbed at the Conservatives, saying: “The Tories are doubling down, they fancy a fight because they're so pathetic now they are so utterly robbed of anything that remotely resembles policy principle or personality, that they’re just casting around for things that worked in the 1970s in the hope they might work now.”

“It’s ridiculous because the railways are a joke!” James said, adding that in the face of all the railway problems, the RMT’s wishes are not being respected.

READ MORE: RMT swats down 8% pay rise offer from rail bosses within hours as latest bid to avoid Christmas train strikes fails

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said the union has been compelled to take this action due to the "continuing intransigence of the employers".
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said the union has been compelled to take this action due to the "continuing intransigence of the employers". Picture: Getty

As an example of the struggling rail service, James said: “My wife tried to get to Leeds and back yesterday. She’d have been better off on a unicycle!”

“This is supposed to be a first-world G7 economy, and our railways don’t work!” he raged.

He also shot down the “skewed and distorted” arguments of people who pretend all strikers are “drivers on a half-decent salary”, but also fail to consider the other RMT members like the cleaners or platform staff.

In a final reminder of the series of walkouts, he concluded: “The rail strike is going nuclear.”

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