Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/7537

Posted on 16 July 2009 at 0:00 GMT

RMT cannot accept Compulsory Redundancies

The strike action taken by RMT members last month has forced London Underground (LU) management into significant concessions.

LU has been forced to acknowledge the 'no redundancy' agreements won in 2001 although they continue to try and exclude important sections of workers from this protection.

LU was also insisting on a five year pay deal that would have locked workers into real terms pay cuts for the full five years. Crucially this would have settled the issue of pay beyond the Olympics in 2012. For obvious reasons management is nervous about the unions taking advantage of the Olympics to secure improvements in terms and conditions after successive unsatisfactory pay rounds.

As a result of the strike action LU is now proposing a two year deal with an explicit commitment to discuss arrangements for special working around the Olympics. In addition an extra half a percent has been added to the offer for each year. This is an improvement but still leaves tube workers with an increase of 1.5% this year and RPI (likely to be zero) plus 0.5% next year. When the real cost of inflation on items like fuel and food is taken into account this represents a pay cut, a fact acknowledged now by the Unite union, which is balloting its 500 members working for Metronet for action over the offer.

Pay is not unimportant for most RMT members but the key issue in this dispute is job security. When PPP (part-privatisation of infrastructure) was imposed in 2001 the unions won what became known as the 'Jobs for Life Agreement'. This specifically ruled out compulsory redundancies at any time within LU or Metronet. Before the recent strike action LU denied that this agreement existed! On the eve of the action they suddenly remembered the agreement after all. As a result the majority of RMT members retain their no compulsory redundancy guarantee.

It would be wrong not to highlight how management has moved as a result of RMT's strike action but as things stand. 3000 90-Day redundancy notices were sent out and LU was openly predicting around 1000 compulsory redundancies. Had resisting this been left to the other tube unions, Aslef and TSSA there is no doubt that LU would have pressed ahead with redundancies on this scale. But because of RMTs position, including the commitment of RMT members to strike, LU has had to use enhanced offers of voluntary reduncy and re-deployment to avoid widescale compulsory redundancies. LU now claims that only 70 positions remain at risk.

However, this figure of 70 is not in writing and under LU's proposal to end the dispute there are still significant numbers of workers who have had their 'no redundancy' protection withdrawn. This is unacceptable. The agreement made in 2001 explicitly covers all employees of LU and Metronet and all subsidiaries. The cuts that LU is making today are to admin grades and it is these sections management say are not covered. Allowing them to sack RMT members against the 2001 agreement would encourage them to change the terms again once they are ready to shed more workers.

LU management will try to undermine further action by saying that only 70 positions remain at risk and they will claim that few of them will be RMT members. RMT should challenge management in writing to list the specific posts at risk. It is important that RMT members understand the scale of potential future job losses if the 2001 agreement is not honoured in full. Some members will not understand that many of those admin grades affected are relatively low paid RMT members and not the highly paid senior managers who always seem to fall on their feet. The union has now intensified its campaign to inform all members of the true, current position.

RMT negotiators should continue to seek written guarantees that RMT members are covered by the 2001 no compulsory redundancy agreement. It is crucial to demonstrate to all RMT members that every attempt has been made to resolve this dispute after the first strike but if RMT members remain under threat of redundancy the union will have to explain the need for further strike action.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

RMT:

triangleAnti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

triangleNationalise rail now

triangleVirgin train workers vote for strike action over pay

triangleVirgin train workers ballot for strike action

triangleStrikers picket the South Western Railway network

Redundancies:

triangleBrighton victory

triangleBrighton Uni lecturers strike against job cuts

trianglePlymouth PCS members fight relocation threat

triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

Compulsory redundancy:

triangleCollege workers ballot for action in Nottingham

triangle"Disgraceful" treatment of sacked EHRC workers

triangleBBC journalists to strike on Friday

London underground:

triangleJustice for Tube cleaners demo

triangleConference opens debate on Labour and pledges to fight anti-union laws

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/12/17

Haringey

Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

16/12/17

North West

Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

14/12/17

Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

13/12/17

London

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

13/12/17

Fracking

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

13/12/17

Devon

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

13/12/17

Miners

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

13/12/17

Bradford

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

13/12/17

South London

South London health bosses' cover-up

13/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite day of action against blacklisting

13/12/17

Brighton

Brighton victory

13/12/17

Newham

Newham anti-academies strikes

13/12/17

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

12/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle16 Dec Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

triangle16 Dec Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2