Socialist Worker

Tube Lines bust up

Issue No. 2205

Workers on London Underground are set to announce strike dates having just returned a massive 94 percent yes vote for action.

Their employer Tube Lines (TL) – the remaining third of the disasterous PPP contracts on London Underground – has collapsed. It had been in financial trouble for some time.

Things came to a head when independent arbiter Chris Bolt told TL it had £4.4 billion for upgrade work when TL wanted £5.75 billion.

Bolt’s report called TL “labyrinthine, artificial and unconvincing”.

Companies Amey and Bechtel have since agreed to sell their interests in TL to Transport for London. And bosses are trying to avoid a dispute, even “offering” rail unions RMT and Aslef different pay deals (3.7 and 4.2 percent) as a divisive tactic.

But workers have seen through management lies and recognise that “renationalisation” is in fact repackaging that sets the basis for future outsourcing.

The government is announcing fresh cuts that will affect us all, yet is bailing out TL to the tune of £400 million of taxpayers’ money. But bosses will face resistance that has the potential to generalise and bring the entire tube network to a halt.

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Tue 8 Jun 2010, 18:43 BST
Issue No. 2205
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