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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 February 2008

London Underground: Strike ballot in safety row

The rail union RMT has told London Underground (LUL) that more than 5,500 station staff and train operators are in dispute over a whole raft of safety and staffing issues. Up to 2,000 TSSA members are also in dispute over station staffing issues and they will be balloting their members.

Reg Johnson, RMT

The dispute is not over pay. The unions are fighting to protect the safety of staff and passengers as well as defending jobs and hard-won conditions of employment. The unions are sending out a message that ticket office closures, de-staffing, lone working, introduction of mobile supervisors (that is supervisors covering several stations instead of one), use of agency and security staff, and the attack on safety standards and the casualisation of safety critical work are unacceptable. A ballot to strike will take place unless all of these proposals are withdrawn.

Disputed issues include changes to emergency guidelines that threaten the ability to carry out emergency evacuations. LUL has without discussion decided to vary Section 4.2 of the Congestion Control and Emergency Plan to remove the specification of the minimum numbers of each grade of station staff that are on duty at any time. This would put both staff and passengers at risk in an emergency.

Also the right of staff to refuse to work on safety grounds is being undermined. LUL are also attempting to staff the new Heathrow Terminal 5 station with sub-contracted labour. Career opportunities are also being undermined by the direct recruitment of train operators and supervisors instead of recruiting within from trained and experienced staff.

LUL are mounting a huge attack on the conditions of tube workers. They are also undermining the health and safety of both staff and the three to four million passengers who travel on the tube each day. The unions and passengers must unite in the fight to overturn these attacks.

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In The Socialist 13 February 2008:

Stop NHS privatisation now!


Local Government workers

Birmingham council workers' biggest strike for decades

'Single status' in the West Midlands

Bosses prepare to force through more cuts

Newham workers angry at councillors


Socialist Students

Uni Fees must be fought!

Feature: The great university swindle


War and terrorism

War and occupation in Iraq


Socialist Party news and analysis

Defend abortion rights

Millionaire welcomes economic recession!

Northern Rock

Liverpool's tale of two cities

Cardiff marches to save schools

100 people pack London world economy meeting


Transport

Cuts and backlogs cause delays

Tangled web at Metronet


International socialist news and analysis

Polish miners gain strike victory due to iron determination

Chad conflict - part of a wider power struggle


Interview

Prison officers: Fighting for trade union rights

Building the Campaign for a New Workers' Party


Comment

Comment: Opportunist blunder further splits Church of England


Workplace news and analysis

Land Registry staff vote for action

London Underground: Strike ballot in safety row

Campaign Against Climate Change trade union conference

Organise and fight back!

Shelter staff ballot for action


 

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Related links:

London underground:

triangleTransport workers and passengers mustn't pay the price

triangleTransport union RMT tells members: refuse to work in unsafe conditions

triangleTories put profit before lives - unions must stand firm on workplace safety

triangleNo increase in transport capacity without adequate safety precautions

RMT:

triangleRMT: Lift the suspension of Steve Hedley

triangleThe Red Line - Bulletin of Socialist Party members in the RMT

triangleLondon Transport workers fighting private companies and TfL to secure health and safety

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