Socialist Worker

Fights to come on London Underground

by Unjum Mirza, RMT political officer for the London Transport region (pc)
Issue No. 2085

Workers in the RMT union on London Underground are heading towards a number of disputes. One of them is over management’s plans to close a number of ticket offices and on issues that have arisen from the transfer of Silverlink services to London Overground.

The company wants to use agency workers as security guards as well as introduce mobile supervision, meaning that a supervisor would be responsible for many stations rather than one as at present.

Also, Heathrow’s new T5 tube station, which will be run by BAA, will be supervised by a London Underground employee but BAA will outsource the rest of the work to an agency. Management wants to casualise the workforce in one area and try to roll it out across the tube.

London mayor Ken Livingstone has put back plans to close the ticket offices but that isn’t good enough. We want them withdrawn.

Another dispute is around Metronet workers who won their dispute last year to protect jobs and pensions for workers employed at the failed private consortium.

They are still awaiting transfer to Transport for London. The RMT is demanding that the workers are guaranteed Transport for London pensions, terms and conditions and staff passes, and there is no further outsourcing or fragmentation of the workforce.

These, along with attacks on our safety rules, are an attempt to weaken the unions on London Underground in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics.

We are in the final year of our pay deal so a new pay round will be negotiated next year.

The union is looking to ballot for strike action over these issues. Activists are arguing that all workers on the tube should be balloted to meet this scale of attack.

Members of the RMT in the Canary Wharf and London Bridge groups are balloting for strikes over the dismissals of union activists.

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Article information

Tue 22 Jan 2008, 19:02 GMT
Issue No. 2085
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