Union boss Mick Lynch has said Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has to show he is “on the side of the people” before the next general election.
The general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union criticised Sir Keir and the Labour Party when asked about how long strikes on the railway could potentially go on for.
He said that despite the disturbance industrial action has caused, most people respect that RMT members have put forward a differing opinion, which opposition politicians have failed to do.
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“It’s a shame that Labour and others can’t show that they’re distinct from the kind of consensus that got us into this trouble where working people are struggling in the cost of living crisis,” Mr Lynch told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday.
“It seems to be ignored by the political class to a certain extent.”
He said that at the minute it is a “shame” that people “cannot spot the difference” between Labour and the Conservatives.
“He’s got to show that he’s on the side of working people and progressive politics, and I don’t think we’ve seen that,” he said.
When asked why people are not seeing this from Sir Keir, Mr Lynch hit out at the Labour leader again, saying he has five missions but “nobody knows what they are”.
“He should be saying something about workers rights. He should say stuff about the NHS, looking after people who are struggling in the housing market, council houses for the masses, controlling rents, addressing all sorts of stuff about what’s going to happen in the imbalance in our society,” Mr Lynch said.
“He’s not saying any of that. He won’t dare mention the word socialism.
“I think he could be on the side of the people, but he’s got to show it to us before the election.”
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When quizzed by Ridge on what point the RMT “calls it a day” on strike action, Mr Lynch said until an agreement has been reached.
“We don’t want to be on strike, we would much rather get an agreement we want in both London Transport and on the National Railway,” he said.
“We will keep going in that campaign until we get a document that our members want to support in a referendum.”
Meanwhile, Sir Keir told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg that he would tackle public sector pay disputes and negotiations with doctors differently if he were prime minister.
“We would be around the table negotiating and we would settle this dispute,” he said.
Adding that he has “always been a reformer”, Sir Keir said the way to invest in public services is to grow the economy, and that he doesn’t care if he is labelled a “fiscal Conservative” as a result of this policy.
Trevor Phillips will host Sky News’ agenda-setting flagship political talk show when it returns in September.