Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/483/2313
Tube workers win big victory over Metronet
RAIL UNION RMT members working for Metronet tube maintenance company have won a magnificent victory, after the company withdrew plans to transfer RMT members and their posts to Bombardier, part of the Metronet consortium.
Lewis Peacock, RMT rep
Metronet (the infrastructure company maintaining two-thirds of the London tube network) sensationally caved into the RMT demands after the union's members rejected the company's offer and announced three days of industrial action, followed by an overtime ban.
In a dramatic about-turn, Metronet, within hours of talks breaking down, informed the RMT's general secretary Bob Crow that posts and individuals it intended to transfer to Bombardier would now remain in-house, and that it would not bring forward any further plans for outsourcing.
The company also agreed that escalator refurbishment would be brought back in-house, and that it would also enter into talks aimed at bringing cleaning contracts and lift refurbishment back in-house.
The RMT were forced to ballot after Metronet announced an additional 49 fleet maintenance staff, duty depot managers (DDMs), were to be incorporated into the existing 200 senior managers and admin staff that are to be transferred to Bombardier.
The RMT reps and the members they represent were not willing to accept the loss of any one of the 49 positions, or any further fragmentation.
They stood firm on not accepting any compromise that management put before them.
A strike committee organised by the two RMT branches involved in the dispute, which also had the backing of the union's London Transport regional council, was prepared and confident that the strike action would be solidly supported.
RMT members within Metronet have shown that bosses can be defeated when the workforce are organised and prepared to stand united.
In The Socialist 19 April 2007:
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party editorial
Campaign for a New Workers Party
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis