As rail commuters breath a sigh of relief after the RMT union called off three days of strike action over the coming days, footage of a fiery speech this week from their General Secretary, Mick Lynch, is doing the rounds.

At a Trades Union Congress (TUC) rally at Westminster Central Hall, Lynch, who effectively declared war on the media over strike action during the summer, said MPs “have all got to listen, no matter which party they’re in… Are you on the side of the workers in 2022 and 2023?”.

The union announced this afternoon that it would be suspending its planned three days of rail strikes on 5, 7, and 9 November after securing “intense negotiations” with rail bosses. 

The RMT says it secured “unconditional talks on Network Rail” and, for the first time, the promise of an offer from the train operating companies. 

Their dispute, however, remains live, as the RMT continues re-balloting its members to secure a fresh mandate for action, with the result due on 15 November. Indeed, Network Rail warned the late notice of the strike cancellation meant services would remain “extremely limited” on Saturday.

Lynch’s speech galvanised the crowd as he said people would be judged for where they stood during the disputes. Declaring “there are no neutrals in these struggles”, Lynch confidently said “our emancipation is in our hands”. Whether the speech will appeal outside the hall remains to be seen. Yet one thing is for certain: We have not heard the last of Lynch if this speech is anything to go by.

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