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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 April 2010

London Underground workers balloting

At a mass meeting in London on 31 March the general secretaries of the RMT and TSSA, Bob Crow and Gerry Doherty, announced that these two rail unions would be holding a simultaneous strike ballot of London Underground workers.

Reg Johnstone, London Underground worker

This is to protest against 800 proposed job cuts by London Underground.

It will also be in protest against the closure of ticket offices. The opening times of ticket offices will be reduced by 2,000 hours a week across 278 stations.

A leaked document from London Underground management describes our workforce as "ageing and entrenched". This is the same workforce that has just earned the underground an award for being the best metro service in Europe.

'New blood'

Management want to get in 'new blood' and introduce 'new methods' - for that read get in new staff on worse conditions, and probably on temporary contracts. Management also want to use large scale redeployment and tube upgrades to drive out staff.

Health and safety regulations will be discarded and, disgustingly, they may attempt to force staff to work in unsafe conditions using disciplinary procedures if necessary.

The leaked document also suggests that management could look to engineer disputes and then use a dirty propaganda war to win the public to their side, while they sit out a long dispute.

This represents a major attack on a section of workers that have won, through industrial struggle, reasonable wages and conditions.

The conditions we have are the type of conditions all workers should enjoy.

Race to the bottom

If our conditions are driven down then it will be a race to the bottom for all workers in the capital and indeed the rest of the country.

The attacks on workers at British Airways and London Underground and the court decisions against Unite and the RMT are declarations of war against the trade union movement.

The TUC should respond by calling a mass demonstration. They should also begin the process of building support for a one day general strike against the proposed massacre of public services and against the anti trade union laws. If the TUC does not act then in the meantime an alliance of unions willing to struggle in a coordinated manner needs to be built.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 7 April 2010:

Defend jobs and services - Fight for a workers' alternative - Vote TUSC

General Election 6 May: A Socialist Challenge


Socialist Party editorial

Mobilise to defend the right to strike

London Underground workers balloting


Socialist Party election campaign

Stand up for the millions, not the millionaires!

Reject the parties of cuts and privatisation

Socialist Campaign launched in Coventry

New Labour meltdown in Stoke

Making an impact in Huddersfield

Hazel Must Go! opposes cuts to Salford NHS

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition


Socialist Party campaigns

Cuts bite in north west

March to defend the welfare state

Tories reveal yet more anti-gay bias

'Free schools' or free-for-all?

News in brief


Socialist Party workplace news

NUT conference again calls for action on workload

Ex-Visteon workers continue fight for pensions

Industrial news in brief


Socialist Students

Mobilise students and workers to defeat cuts and tuition fees


International socialist news and analysis

Kazakhstan: "change the politicians - or they will change you!"

Mass protests and strikes continue to shake Algeria

Tekel workers brutally attacked by police


Comment

The real lessons of the poll tax


 

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