Over 6,500 tube workers in the RMT union are balloting for strikes over pay across London Underground.
Bob Crow, the RMT general secretary, and Bobby Law, the union’s regional organiser, outlined the basis of the dispute at a mass meeting on Wednesday of last week.
London Underground originally offered a five year pay deal that the unions whittled down to three years.
London Underground’s offer in year one is a 4 percent rise, while years two and three offer the retail price index plus 0.5 percent and 0.6 percent respectively.
This is not nearly enough.
What’s more, the deal has strings, including Ken Livingstone’s public commitment to 30 minutes later running on Fridays and Saturdays as well as draconian disciplinary and attendance procedures.
The unions have accepted management’s 4 percent for year one, from April 2006.
But London Underground won’t pay it unless we agree to the entire derisory package.
The ballot closes on Monday 19 February and the first task is to get a big vote for action. Members are calling for another mass meeting on Wednesday 21 February to determine what kind of action we take.
Generally, most are agreed that 24-hour action no longer works. But London Underground staff are aware of the power they have to bring the capital to a standstill.