Socialist Worker

London Metronet tube strike wins guarantees

Issue No. 2067

The powerful strike by tube workers on London Underground has forced management to offer the guarantees that workers in the RMT union have been demanding over pensions and job cuts. The union suspended the action on Tuesday evening.

The strike by 2,300 workers at the failed Metronet Public Private Partnership (PPP) consortium brought London to a near standstill when it begun, for a proposed three days, on Monday at 6pm.

It closed nine out of the 12 tube lines. The strength of it meant that Metronet asked for more talks.

Both Gordon Brown and London mayor Ken Livingstone threw their weight behind the bosses. Brown demanded workers “get back to work” while Livingstone called the strike “incomprehensible”.

But despite Livingstone and the bosses claiming that they had already given the union the guarantees it needed, in the talks management went further than they had previously. They guaranteed that workers’ pensions would not now be affected by the company being in administration. Workers had been losing 10 percent while the company was in administration.

Any money lost will also be paid back.

This is a great success for the RMT and shows how hard-hitting action can force the bosses and the privateers back.

The RMT is continuing its campaign to bring the maintenance and infrastructure of London Underground back in-house. It will lobby next week’s TUC conference in Brighton on Tuesday of next week when Gordon Brown speaks.

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