London Underground management is taking a hard line in talks with the RMT and TSSA rail workers’ unions over a number of issues.
Management is pushing cost-cutting measures across the tube. It wants to attack safety standards by closing ticket offices, and introducing workers and security guards supplied by agencies.
Talks between the unions and management broke down last week when the company said that it intended to continue with its plans.
This would mean the company reneging on its pledge to ensure that all station staff are directly employed and fully trained to London Underground’s safety standards.
With talks having restarted this week, the unions must stand firm and not back down on crucial issues of safety.
Any proposed agreement must not be accepted until there has been a full debate inside the unions, and members have had the chance to have their say.
Some 7,000 members of the RMT and TSSA unions, working in key operational areas, have voted overwhelmingly to reject a pay offer from Network Rail.
The unions gave the company seven days to improve its two-year pay and conditions offer or face ballots for industrial action.
Workers in operational, customer services and project and engineering-support grades voted to reject the offer of 4.8 percent this year and RPI plus 0.5 percent in 2009.
Unite union members were still balloting on the offer as Socialist Worker went to press.