Socialist Worker

Underground dispute in offing over threats to Metronet jobs and conditions

by Matthew Cookson
Issue No. 2063

A major dispute over the direction of Britain’s public services is in the offing on the London Underground.

Over 2,600 workers in the RMT and TSSA rail workers’ unions are to be balloted for strike action over threats to jobs and conditions at the failed Metronet consortium.

Metronet was responsible for the maintenance and infrastructure of two thirds of the London Underground under Gordon Brown’s Public Private Partnership (PPP).

Metronet is owned by five major companies who have benefited massively from the privatisation of public services – WS Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Bombardier, EDF Energy and Thames Water.

It ran up millions of pounds of debt and went into administration.

The unions are asking their members to vote to strike over the failure of the bankrupt company’s administrator to guarantee that there will be no job losses, forced transfers or cuts in pension entitlements as a result of the company’s financial collapse.

The unions are calling for Metronet’s work to be brought back in-house.

The ballots began on Tuesday of this week and are set to end on Monday 20 August.

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Wed 8 Aug 2007, 19:58 BST
Issue No. 2063
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