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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 July 2015

Back tube strikes

Paddington station during the last strike, photo by Hannah Sell

Paddington station during the last strike, photo by Hannah Sell   (Click to enlarge)

John Reid, RMT executive member

All four London Underground unions are planning a new shutdown of the tube network on 5-6 August. United action by Aslef, RMT, TSSA and Unite stopped every train and closed every station on 8-9 July. This followed over 50% of members voting - over 90% for strike action.

Station staff are having their agreements ripped up and will have to work anytime, anywhere, any place. This is a result of the decimation of station staff with 850 jobs planned to go. All despite a record number of passengers being carried on our trains.

We are fighting for a fair deal on pay and night tube working, now being introduced.

MP's have accepted a 10% pay increase and the richest thousand people in Britain have seen their obscene levels of wealth double in the last four years. All we are asking for is for our terms and conditions to be protected and for our pay increases to rise with inflation as a minimum.

'Increase'

Management has offered a new 1% 'increase' for the first year, and 1% or RPI inflation (whichever is the higher) for years two and three. In the first year there would be a recurring payment of 500 for all staff, plus 500 one-off payment for all staff, except drivers, who work on lines carrying out night work. For drivers working nights the offer is 2,000.

It's an attempt to buy them off for giving up their hard-won agreements for regular weekends off and rosters that allow a life-work balance.

Under the proposed new agreements staff will work more weekends and more nights. These payments are also divisive - with only one-third of staff being offered the bonus.

Already, assaults on staff are up. So are crime on the tube and sexual assaults on female passengers. Job cuts potentially affect the safe running of the tube too, with all-night engineering hours being cut.

Even if we did sell our agreements for a pot of gold we would be condemning our staff to working practices that would strain every sinew of their body and suck out their lifeblood.

We want a safe, affordable service that is fully staffed, publicly owned, with all outsourced work being brought in-house. We also believe the wages and conditions of our members should be protected. These hard-won conditions should be the norm for workers in all industries and across the public sector.

These attacks are politically inspired by the pro-austerity measures of the government, which wants to cut 4.2 billion from the transport budget. They also want to shackle our unions by making it harder to take strike action. We will resist this on London Underground - we have already built joint action with every union.

We will fight for as long as it takes and take whatever action is necessary to defend our members' terms, conditions and pay. United we are strong, united we can win.

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In The Socialist 29 July 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Kids go hungry in Tory Britain

Corbyn's support shows anti-austerity message is popular

Kill the bill! Stop the new Tory anti-union laws

Austerity measures cut social care provision

Them & Us


Socialist Party feature

The menopause: breaking the taboo


International socialist news and analysis

Turmoil in Greece will be repeated across Europe

Turkey: only workers' unity can end terrorism, division and war


Socialist Party workplace news

Striking homelessness workers beat Glasgow council

Back tube strikes

Coal closure costs 700 jobs

Tory cuts and attacks on unions imperil workers

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Determined mood to defend the unions

Nottingham rehab unit campaign

Wales: Stop the Bedroom Tax evictions!

Anti-austerity protests from Northumberland to the 'English Riviera'

Campaigns news in brief

Help fund the party that fights austerity!


The Socialist, reader's comment

'Prevent'ing terror or preventing opposition?


 

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Related links:

London underground:

triangleJustice for Tube cleaners demo

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

triangleTube strike at London Bridge over unfair dismissal

triangleWalkout on three rail networks against driver-only operated trains

Pay:

triangleI'm now a 'manager' and I can barely manage!

triangleFighting sexism: Positive discrimination - yea or neigh?

triangleRoyal Mail forced back under threat of action

triangleNHS - build the fightback

RMT:

triangleMerseyrail protest

triangleRMT strikes against driver-only operation continue

triangleRMT rail members buoyed by coordinated action

Drivers:

triangleMini-strike wave continues and intensifies

triangleArriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

Transport:

triangleRail: fares up, bosses' pay up - delays and cancellations up

Unite:

triangleSadiq Khan's bus drivers' London licence doesn't go far enough

Aslef:

triangleStrikers picket the South Western Railway network

John Reid:

triangleSouth London tower block residents plan safety campaign

TSSA:

triangleRMT wins important tube jobs and grading victory

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