A strike by 750 signals workers has caused major disruption on London Underground today. The RMT transport union members are angry about management's plans to enforce shift changes, break agreements and outsource work.
Around 25 signal workers picketed the Hainault depot in Essex this morning on the first day of a programme of strikes.
The workers are employed by the former Metronet company, a private consortium that went bust and had to be taken back in-house.
Steve Hedley, the RMT regional organiser told Socialist Worker, “It’s no secret there are going to be £60 million cuts from Metronet. We’ve drawn a line in the sand here, fighting these attacks.”
Strikes will continue every Sunday starting from 14 February until the signallers win their demands.
Other sections were encouraged to stay out in solidarity with the signal workers. Drivers in particular were concerned about safety.
One said, “I’m going to speak to my manager and tell him I’m not driving the train. If I get stuck in a tunnel with a train full of people, there is no one there to sort it.”
Management’s plans to use agency workers to break the strike have come unstuck.
The Circle, Hammersmith and City, Metropolitan, District and Piccadilly lines were all affected by the action with signal failures and emergency work.
The rabid privatisation of the tube has led to budget cuts and attacks on workers. If the signal workers win, it will send a clear message to management that they face a solid fight back.