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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 February 2001

Back the Tube Workers

LONDON UNDERGROUND workers have voted overwhelmingly for strike action against privatisation of the tube (PPP). Strikes involving drivers, station staff, signal and maintenance workers will bring the system to a standstill on three consecutive Mondays 5, 12 and 19 February. Management have run to the courts to stop it.

Bill Johnson, RMT member and London Underground worker

We are not prepared to accept the same compromised safety arrangements on the tube that have already wrought disaster and chaos on the mainline railways. We are also demanding that not one job is transferred to the private sector.

RMT voted nine to one in favour of the action while ASLEF members supported the strike call by two to one. This will be the first unified action by rail unions RMT and ASLEF for nearly ten years, giving massive confidence to union members.

The engineering firms getting the private contracts will make millions at the expense of workers and passengers. So let them pay the 8.4 billion needed to clear the underground's maintenance backlog. No privatisation, no bonds, just reverse the colossal tax cuts that mean firms in the City of London pay the lowest taxes in the developed world! Better still, nationalise the parasitical financial institutions so cheap finance can be used to regenerate not just the underground but all our railways and public services.

Livingstone's support for the strike action and Transport Commissioner Bob Kiley's opposition to the government's PPP scheme, will be welcomed.

Kiley has even said: "My view is that the tube will become a tomb if the public-private partnership goes ahead." But concrete alternative proposals from Livingstone and Kiley have been too close to the government's for comfort.

There is massive opposition to tube privatisation and the effect passengers know it would have on their safety. This opposition will increase once plans for a 40% increase in fare revenues and 5% reduction in target service levels are more widely known.

Socialist Party branches and trade unions should organise meetings to support the strike action, whilst Socialist Party members in the tube unions will argue for:

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In The Socialist 2 February 2001:

Corus Steel Closures Strike to Stop Job Cuts

Back the Tube Workers

When flunkies fall out

Bribery, Bofors and the Hinduja brothers

Hackney Solid strike against cuts threat

"It's our livelihoods at stake"

Servants of big business

"You were the weakest link -goodbye!"

World Economic Forum: The heights of capitalism

The Philippines after Estrada


 

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