Members of the RMT rail workers’ union on the London Underground have voted by over three to one to strike over pay.
There was a near 50 percent turnout and 2,271 voted for strike action with 705 against. The ballot took place over a derisory multi-year pay deal offered by London Underground in which the 4 percent for the first year, since April 2006, has still not been paid.
Management argue the 4 percent was only on offer if years two and three were also agreed – year two would be the retail price index plus 0.5 percent, and year three RPI plus 0.6 percent.
The deal had strings including London mayor Ken Livingstone’s proposal for late night running on the tube. Livingstone dropped these plans during the ballot.
Other strings remain – including management’s Customer Satisfaction Bonus scheme where staff will be offered £250 or £500 if they meet, or exceed various targets.
We have made it clear that we do not accept this form of performance related pay.
The TSSA rail workers’ union has already accepted the deal. The Aslef train drivers’ union has decided to put the deal out to a refererendum with a strong recommensation to accept.
The RMT’s national executive was meeting to decide what, if any, action to call, as Socialist Worker went to press. Rank and file members are clear that any strike must be for more than 24 hours if we are to win.
Ken Livingstone has made it clear that he is willing to “ride out” 24 hour action and aims to weaken the union in the run up to the mayoral and London elections in 2008 and the Olympics in 2012.