The victory of the RMT rail workers’ union over the failed Metronet consortium on London Underground is continuing to have effects.
A strike by Metronet workers earlier this month brought the tube to a near halt and won major concessions over jobs and pensions. The union is fighting to bring the Public Private Partnership (PPP) deal for maintenance and infrastructure back in-house.
But last week the PPP arbiter advised potential bidders that the London mayor’s transport body was responsible for up to £1.1 billion of overspending. This could make it a juicier proposal for private companies. Transport for London has questioned this ruling.
The tube unions’ campaign against the planned closure of ticket offices has won a reprieve. A meeting of over 50 members of the RMT and TSSA union last week heard that Transport for London had postponed the plans until late next year.
“Trade unionism is having a boom on the tube at the moment,” Pat O’Brien, a health and safety rep for the Camden group, told Socialist Worker, “One example is what happened to a group of ISS cleaners at Morden station recently.
“Management tried to impose a seven night roster upon them instead of the five night roster they work to at the moment.
“There would be no benefits to them. The cleaners, inspired by what had happened on Metronet, said they would refuse to work.
“Management backed down and agreed to a roster put forward by an RMT rep. They also agreed to employ new staff.
“Management are running scared. The unions have to continue our campaigns over ticket offices and other issues.”