Mick Lynch is taking the Mick. The RMT rail union boss has turned down an incredible 9% offer from the government. Wouldn't you and I bite your hand off for that kind of raise? Well, it's not good enough for the rail unions, who would seek further damage to our economy and further disruption to the lives of hard-working Brits, then accept this solid offer. Now let’s be honest, Mick Lynch is just doing his job and speaking up for his members. Plus he's a good-humoured guy and clearly a smart cookie. But all may not be as it seems. With the Telegraph reporting today that it's just possible Mick Lynch wants to accept this deal, with his deputies having already drafted an agreement on this latest offer. But the paper claims he has been barred from accepting the deal, by a hard-core rump of old-school unionist campaigners in his ranks. An internal memo, seen by The Telegraph, reveals Lynch is under pressure from roughly 450 branch leaders to reject the deal.
The activists have allegedly ordered Mr Lynch to push for “the suppression of the capitalist system, by a socialistic order of society”. They also call for rail strikes every Saturday to advance their agenda and demand Mr Lynch increase members' fees to establish a war chest to pay strikers, as they dig in for a long battle. This supports the theory of many, that this industrial action is motivated by more than just seeking a fair deal for their workers. And that there is a wider political aim – not just to bring down the government, but to bring down capitalism altogether. So yielding to the unions and their inflation-busting demands, will not only further inflate the national debt and bake inflation into the system for years to come. It risks the debasing of our economic system altogether.
This industrial action is a huge headache for Rishi Sunak, as the strikes are politically and economically expensive. But it's an opportunity too. It's his chance to show his mettle and stand up for the principles of a free, capitalist society, to stand up for the taxpayer, and to stand up for Britain's national economic interest.
Now, the rail unions feel that their workers have had real terms pay cuts for years, and their members are struggling. They point to fat cat salaries in the city, which grow exponentially. They are not wrong. And they say that many of the aims they have are not financial, but based around job security, working conditions, the safety of their members and the safety of the public. But the reason why the government are looking to get rid of ticket offices and change work patterns is to capitalise on technology and automation and to plug a horrendous gap, in what is a gaping hole in the business model of rail, as thousands more people discovered during the pandemic, they could work just as well from home. Which means revenue is down and will never get back to where it was. Plus Mick Lynch and his Lynch mob have short memories, as the government supported the rail industry during the lockdowns, to the tune of £600 per household in this country. And now 9% is not enough for them. With this decision to reject a generous pay offer – one that millions in the private sector would love to have - Mick Lynch and the RMT union, have finally gone off the rails. What a train wreck.