Ex-RMT boss blames Ukraine war for rail strikes in GB News rant

A former RMT union boss has blamed the Ukraine war and the capitalist system for train operators not getting a pay rise. Appearing on GB News, Steve Hedley said the Government could use money it was spending on Ukraine to help fund pay rises for striking public workers. He also said that there needed to be a fundamental change in the “economic system” of the country.

The RMT is continuing its strike action after it rejected a recent offer from Network Rail.

Managers for the Network Rail had put forward a 5 percent pay rise this year and a 4 percent rise in 2023.

But RMT union boss Mick Lynch described the deal as “substandard”, and 63.6 percent of members who voted rejected the deal.

Mr Hedley, an ex-General Assistant Secretary of the RMT, defended his former union members for continuing their strike action.

Challenged by GB News presenters about where the money will come from to fund the pay rises demanded by train workers and other public sector employees, Mr Hedley took aim at Ukraine and capitalism in general.

He said: “Well the Tories will have to stop giving their friends huge tax hikes and loopholes where they can stick their money offshore.

“They will have to stop funding wars. There’s always money for war isn’t there?

“There’s always billions of pounds to send to Ukraine so the Russians can kill the Ukrainians and the Ukrainians can kill Russians.”

He added: “We need a change in the absolute society and economic system we are living in.

“We can no longer have this system of capitalism which is geared for profit, which is killing the planet.

“By the way, the rich know this is going on. That’s why they are buying up tracks of land in New Zealand.”

The GB News presenter pointed out that the median pay rise for rail workers was over £37,000, far higher than the average wage in the UK.

READ MORE: Rail fares set to soar by 5.9% in 2023 as bosses insist its ‘fair’

British military personnel have also trained some 27,000 members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces since 2015.

In the last year, the Government has provided hundreds of rockets, five air defense systems, 120 armored vehicles and over 200,000 pieces of non-lethal military equipment.

Last Monday, Rishi Sunak vowed his Government would “match or exceed” the £2.3 billion in military aid to Ukraine, during a meeting of Nordic, Baltic and Dutch counterparts.

The British Prime Minister urged other members of the regional Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) grouping to follow suit “to continue the strong support” for Kyiv.

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