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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 May 2014

RMT forces London Underground to back down

Bill Johnson, RMT

RMT has won important changes in London Underground's (LU) proposals for job cuts and re-organisation on the tube.

In spite of the other tube unions leaving RMT to fight alone, at this stage the two-day strike that caused massive disruption to the tube network on 29-30 April forced LU to back down, at least temporarily. In return RMT has suspended its further strike action due to take place 6-8 May.

LU has now made a real commitment to ensure that no one whose job is abolished will lose pay. LU had previously told staff that it wanted to be able to promise that but refused to give a commitment, in spite of repeated demands from tube unions, until RMT forced the issue with strike action in April.

The company has also agreed to a wider mandate for its station by station review of its plans. This means RMT and other unions will be able to raise objections to the impact of proposals on displacement and relocation of members, the ability of members to run stations and ticket selling arrangements.

There are many other outstanding issues, in particular proposed pay rates for new grades. But the latest movement by LU in response to solid strike action is encouraging and should give confidence to tube workers that the union can resist LU's plans.

Last week LU had demanded that RMT "settle" its dispute with the company in return for any changes to LU's proposals. The union, quite rightly, refused this. After LU saw how effective RMT's action was, even without the support of other unions, they dropped this demand in order to get the three days of action scheduled for 6-8 May suspended. As a result RMT can put on further strikes if the station by station review does not restore jobs and ticket offices.

LU not only has its eyes on ticket office staff. It is also tendering for driverless trains and is planning billions of pounds of cuts. The RMT will continue its tradition of defending its members' jobs and conditions and the London Underground as a service. This may include further strike action, which should involve the other tube unions.

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In The Socialist 7 May 2014:


Socialist Party election campaigning

Fight cuts, Back strikes, Vote TUSC

More local news coverage for TUSC, but BBC downplays council elections

Join the TUSC Thunderclap

Defend the right to campaign

Why I'm standing for TUSC

Housing crisis: TUSC candidates demand socialist policies

Election appeal 2014 - 4,278 raised so far


Socialist Party feature

Prepare for almighty battles against austerity


International socialist news and analysis

$15: Seattle shows what a movement can achieve


Socialist Party news and analysis

Schools - Would things get better under Labour?

Private sector rents and Labour

Care homes abuse scandals

Pfizer takeover bid

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

RMT forces London Underground to back down

Striking against Land Registry cuts

Care UK workers start 14 days of strike action

CWU conference - time to build Broad Left

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

We can scrap zero-hour contracts

No support for zero-hour contracts

RMT turns out in strength for May Day march

May Day rallies in Swansea and Ipswich

Battling the cuts: when push comes to shove

Freedom riders on a storm

Leeds protest against privatisation of student loans


 

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