Socialist Worker

Shut down the tube for Tube Lines strike

by Matthew Cookson
Issue No. 2206

Maintenance workers at the Tube Lines company on London Underground plan to strike for 48 hours from Wednesday of next week over jobs, pay and working conditions.

They are being asked to pay for the failed privatisation scheme on the tube.

Their strike could bring the entire tube network to a standstill as it involves workers in the Emergency Response Unit, who deal with accidents and urgent repairs.

The RMT union members’ action is set to coincide with a strike by workers in the union at Serco Docklands.

This is over the company’s failure to make adequate payments for the increased workload and responsibility following the introduction of a third carriage to DLR trains.

The strike at Tube Lines is to begin at 7pm on Wednesday and end at 6.59pm on Friday, while the strike at Serco Docklands is to take place from 4am on Wednesday

23 June until 3.59pm on Saturday 26 June.

This is a crucial battle with management that is out to weaken union organisation on London Underground.

London mayor Boris Johnson has brought Tube Lines back in-house by spending £310 million buying the shares in the private companies that ran it. This hammered home the failure of the Public Private Partnership scheme on the tube.

Tube Lines does the maintenance work on the Jubilee, Piccadilly and Northern lines.

Despite the “renationalisation” the attacks are continuing.

Management has offered RMT members 3.7 percent on pay and drivers in the Aslef union 4.2 percent, which are both below inflation.


Both unions’ members have rejected the offer.

On jobs, management has only given the union assurances until the end of the month.

They are already making huge job cuts across the tube.

Workers at Tube Lines will not be exempt from this, meaning those left will be working longer and harder to do the same amount of work.

Tube staff do essential work keeping the network running safely, while management is out to make massive cuts that will make things worse and more dangerous.

Further action is planned at Tube Lines between 7pm on Wednesday 14 July and 18.59pm on Friday 16 July.

Everyone should back their fight—and other tube workers should refuse to work during the Tube Lines strike on safety grounds, as the Emergency Response Unit will not be working as normal.

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Article information

Tue 15 Jun 2010, 18:43 BST
Issue No. 2206
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