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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 January 2010

London Underground: Battle lines are drawn

RMT members on London Underground are justifiably annoyed at the paltry pay award. We were awarded only 1.5%, and at the same time Transport for London (TfL) have increased fares in the capital by record amounts.

Some fares, which affect the poorest sections of society, have gone up by 20% whilst tube Oyster fares in central London have gone up by 12%. Overall bus fares have risen by 12.7% and tube fares by 3.9%.

This is justified by Mayor Boris Johnson with the argument that the 3.2 billion budget deficit has to be plugged. Our bosses will look for further savings by attempting to cut services and jobs. Leaked proposals indicate that up to 144 ticket offices will be closed and up to 1,200 jobs will be axed.

Already scores of jobs around the combine are left vacant, with no intention by management to fill them. Many outlying stations are regularly left unstaffed, which is a health and safety risk for the travelling public - who are already faced with the costliest transport system in Europe.

Our members are faced with a major battle to defend jobs and services. We showed last year that we were willing to take action to defend jobs and we won that battle, despite the efforts of the leaderships of the other rail unions TSSA and Aslef to undermine our strike. Many rank and file members of both unions respected our strike.

We need to prepare to take action again to defend every single job. The money is there to provide a well staffed, cheap and world class tube service for the capital. The government found 100 billion for the banks in 2009 alone.

TfL is in financial crisis because of the vast sums of money wasted on Public Private Partnership schemes.

We will not allow management to dismantle our promotion structures, job security, pensions or safe working conditions.

Unity is strength.

Reg Johnston, RMT

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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In The Socialist 6 January 2010:

RAGE AGAINST UNEMPLOYMENT


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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

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

Jobs:

triangleDea-John Reid murder: Jobs, homes and services, not racism

triangleSave jobs, save livelihoods, save GKN Automotive - nationalise the plant!

triangleOur lives, our jobs, our future - Not safe in Tory hands

triangleSparks fight continues

Fares:

triangleYet another wage-busting fare hike? Nationalise rail now!

triangleThem & Us

triangleSupport RMT strikes against the elimination of guards on trains

London:

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: How can a party for the working class be built?

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: The fight for a decent future for young people

RMT:

triangleRMT: Support Alan Pottage for assistant general secretary

Transport:

triangleLondon workers prepare to fight Khan's transport cuts

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