Britain's summer of discontent feat. UK rail striker

4:30pm Saturday 3 September

About this session

Since the magnificent three-day rail strike in June, more and more workplaces are being rocked by industrial action across the UK. 40,000 British Telecom workers walked off in early August following a second round of rail strikes, and 115,000 postal workers are now taking strike action. Dockers in Felixstowe, the biggest container port in the UK struck for 8 days disrupting $4.7B of trade.

This momentum has led both sides of politics to speak of a “summer of discontent” in British industrial relations, a reference to the “winter of discontent” in 1978-79, when similar inflationary wage pressures triggered major cross-sectional union battles. Many hope the current strike wave could mark the beginnings of an equally historic moment for British workers.

While workers today are starting to take action from a historic low point, there’s a palpable sense that, as RMT union leader Mick Lynch says “the working class is back and we refuse to be poor anymore” 

Join the Socialism Conference session to hear from a special UK guest speaker Unjum Mirza, a train driver and rank-and-file union activist on the London Underground. He will be joined by socialist activist Moira Leahy who will be unpacking the significance of the reemergence of class struggle and the crisis of the Tories. 

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