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Nottingham MP ‘proudly’ joins rail strike picket lines after Keir Starmer bans frontbench

todayJune 22, 2022 1

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A Nottingham Labour MP said she was “proud” to join the picket lines in London despite a reported warning from leader Sir Keir Starmer which banned his frontbenchers from the strikes. Nadia Whittome has spoken out after attending the RMT union protest at London Victoria Station as tens of thousands of rail workers walked out in a dispute over pay and potential job losses on Tuesday (June 21).

The Labour MP for Nottingham East – a backbencher – tweeted a picture of herself surrounded by a group of protesters, describing herself as a “proud trade unionist”. It comes after Labour frontbenchers were reportedly banned from attending the picket lines.

She added: “As a proud trade unionist, I was pleased to support the RMT strike on Tuesday. Collective action through trade unions has won us many of the rights we enjoy today – from the weekend, to sick pay, to workplace safety. It remains the most effective tool workers have to challenge exploitative employers, raise wages and protect working conditions.

READ MORE: Nottingham backs largest train strike in 30 years as services heavily affected

“These rail workers – many of them low-paid – are on strike because they refuse to stand by while their wages, conditions and jobs are threatened. They are also standing up for all workers – rejecting the government’s desire for workers to carry the costs of higher inflation. I’ll be showing my support at Nottingham station this Thursday and I hope to see many others there.”

At least three junior frontbenchers defied Keir Starmer’s instructions and joined RMT union picket lines on Tuesday morning. Kate Osborne and Paula Barker, both parliamentary private secretaries to shadow ministers, tweeted that they had shown solidarity with striking workers on Tuesday morning.

It is not clear whether they will be punished but party leader Sir Keir is said to be considering possible disciplinary action for those who defy his order to avoid picket lines. It was understood Sir Keir was waiting until the end of the industrial action before instructing chief whip Alan Campbell to deal with disciplinary issues.

Alex Norris, Labour MP for Nottingham North, added his thoughts: “I want passengers to avoid disruptions and for staff to be treated fairly. Instead of grandstanding and trying to creative division the Government need to get round the table and sort it out.”

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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