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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 March 2001

29 March Tube Strike

Solidarity For Tube Safety

AS WE go to press, London Underground (LUL) are attempting to stop the tube strike on 29 March. But rather than negotiate seriously, during earlier negotiations with rail union RMT, they threatened to take legal action against the union for their losses from the strike.

Bill Johnson, RMT member and London Underground worker

Whatever happens with these talks and threats, station staff, drivers and engineers on the tube have already shown their determination to fight for a safe underground system.

During the last strike, the majority of workers refused to back down in the face of a High Court judgement. Management weren't able to do anything about workers taking unofficial action, respecting picket lines and bringing the tube network almost to a standstill.

LUL claim to have settled the dispute with the other rail union, ASLEF but what is on offer would still mean privatisation. The proposed safety committee would not be able to function effectively alongside private firms with their many sub-contractors.

Disasters on the mainline railways, like those at Paddington and Hatfield have shown what happens when safety is sacrificed to big business profits.

Recent reports, including from the Health and Safety Executive, have exposed poor safety on the underground as it is. So any deal which falls short of keeping maintenance in-house with the current staffing levels under present terms and conditions is unacceptable and unsafe.

Indeed, massive public investment is needed immediately to bring the tube up to minimum acceptable safety levels. There is a potential disaster waiting to happen on the Underground, even without privatisation.

The new tube supremo, Kiley plans to cut maintenance jobs, so the best way to show him he can't get away with this is for a solid strike on 29 March.

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In The Socialist 30 March 2001:

Foot And Mouth Crisis: Labour's Criminal Failings

29 March Tube Strike

Frenzied speculators enter the deflationary spiral

Labour fiddles while countryside burns

Teachers must stand firm

The deadly power of agri-business

vCJD - the real health threat

Asylum Seekers: Fact and Fiction

Building the Socialist Party


 

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