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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 March 2010

Tube Lines: Another fine mess

ANOTHER DISASTER for privatisation. Tube Lines, the company responsible for maintenance and upgrade work on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines of the London Underground has been branded as "ailing and failing" by Transport for London.

If that were not bad enough, London Underground (LU) are bringing in forensic accountants to "examine massive and secretive payments to Tube Lines shareholders".

Earlier this year Tube Lines put in a claim to LU for 327 million compensation for cost overruns. But an independent adjudicator found in favour of LU and told Tube Lines to pay LU's legal fees.

However the PPP arbiter also said that spending on the works on the three lines should cost 4.46 billion, 1.3 billion less than Tube Lines wanted but 460 million more than LU can afford. But he wants LU to fund the shortfall - ie passengers and taxpayers.

Tory mayor Boris Johnson whinges that Tube Lines are "looting" public money - he claims that Tube Lines' co-owners will be paid 400 million in management fees by 2017. But what does he thinks happens under the Tory (and Labour) policy of hiving off everything you can to private profiteers? Privatisation is nothing but a license to print money for big business.

The Tube Lines contract should be terminated immediately and there should be a trade union enquiry into where all the money has gone. The maintenance and upgrade work should be done in-house and the whole tube system run as part of a democratically run transport system.

Alison Hill

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In The Socialist 17 March 2010:

BA workers, civil servants: Defending jobs and conditions


Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

Support British Airways cabin crew

PCS Budget Day action

'Winners' and losers in Royal Mail deal

Workplace news in brief


The state

State infiltration - a warning to the workers' movement


Youth fight for jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs day of action


Unison witchhunt

Unison leadership's "scorched earth policy"


Socialist Party news and analysis

Coventry: Voters need socialist fighters - not service cutters

Free the Tamil refugees

Tube Lines: Another fine mess

News in brief


Socialist Students

Defend higher education

Defending public education in the USA


International socialist news and analysis

Another general strike brings Greece to a halt


Socialist Party inteview

Iceland: 93% reject bankers' bailout


Marxist analysis: history

Thatcher's enemy within: 25 years after the end of the miners' strike


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition


Workplace news and analysis

Surrey workers fight cuts

Fighting the cuts at Leeds University

Unite to save Northcott Theatre


Socialist Party feature

Cuts mean poorest people priced out of the legal system


 

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Related links:

Tube Lines:

triangleRMT wins important tube jobs and grading victory

triangleRail workers fighting back!

London underground:

triangleTransport workers and passengers mustn't pay the price

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

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Privatisation:

triangleHugo Pierre for Unison general secretary

triangleWater shortage warning: nationalise now!

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