Socialist Worker

Tube bosses' dirty tactics

Issue No. 1769

BIG BUSINESS is already trying to use the drive to war to attack workers fighting to defend their conditions and public services. The London Evening Standard last week ran a page of smears against tube workers, who have voted by more than two to one for strikes to win a 4 percent pay claim.

It quoted Jane Calvert-Lee, London director of the bosses' CBI, saying, 'People are feeling now is the time to show the terrorists that it is business as normal, and anything that makes it difficult to get across London isn't going to make that happen.'

'That's a sickening use of the tragedy in America,' a station assistant on the Hammersmith and City line told Socialist Worker. 'They are pushing ahead with privatisation, but we are being told we cannot strike for a proper wage increase or campaign against privatisation. They don't give a toss about safety. We don't have working radios to link station staff with control. That meant I could not summon help quickly the other day when someone fell unconscious on the platform. Everything is being run down before privatisation.'

A station assistant on the Central line added, 'This argument won't wash with people. They know the whole system is in decline. Loads of people at work were already against the war. This will make them more angry. It's up to union reps to explain how management are exploiting the situation. I'm even more determined to fight for better pay and to stop privatisation.'

Strikes are due to take place on Friday of next week and the following Thursday. Everyone should support them.

Derail the warmongers

ASLEF, THE train drivers' union, tabled a motion to the Labour Party conference opposing Bush's war and calling for a political solution to the crisis instead. New Labour leaders had it ruled out of order. But the union remains committed to campaigning against the war drive.

THE RMT rail union has issued a statement against the war, and encourages RMT branches and individuals to attend the CND anti-war demonstration in London on Saturday of next week.

OVER 200 Afghan refugees, representing a range of groups, unanimously passed a resolution in London a week ago expressing sympathy for the New York victims and opposition to bombing Afghanistan.

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Article information

Mon 1 Oct 2001, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1769
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