Socialist Worker

Tube battle hots up after bosses’ threats

by Matthew Cookson
Issue No. 2213

Trade unions on London Underground have reacted with fury to bosses’ threats to rip up an agreement on job protection unless they call off their industrial action ballots.

Gerry Duffy, the director of employee relations, has written to the RMT and TSSA unions demanding that the votes be halted or he will go back on negotiated agreements and procedures.

This would pave the way for a massive attack on jobs.

The unions are balloting against cuts that would see 800 workers on stations and platforms sacked.

This would lead to the closure, or partial closure, of nearly 250 ticket offices across the tube network.

Bob Crow, the RMT general secretary, said, “This is a cynical attempt to bully tube staff who are involved in a democratic vote over the important issue of safety-critical jobs and the drive towards unstaffed stations.

“Threatening and intimidating workers who are rightly concerned about staff and passenger safety is outrageous.

“This attack on the workforce is an attack on safety and it must stop right now.”

The ballots end on Thursday of next week.

Harwich port

The RMT called off a strike by dockers and support staff at Harwich International Port on Friday of last week after management made a new offer on pay and conditions.

This includes a 2.25 percent pay increase, a £200 one-off payment and a number of other improvements to payments on rosters and overtime.

Workers are now to vote on the deal.

Southampton port

The result of an industrial action ballot by RMT union members at the Southampton Freightliner depot was due this week.

The vote over the company’s failure to unconditionally reinstate three workers ends on Thursday of this week.

The firm dismissed an RMT rep and two union members for an alleged misuse of a company vehicle.

The RMT says that, “the dismissals are a culmination of what can only be described as a vendetta against the local union representative and his colleagues”.

Management launched a successful legal challenge to a previous ballot.

Virgin Liverpool

RMT members at Virgin Trains in Liverpool are set to ballot for industrial action after a worker was sacked while recovering from an

on-train assault.

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Article information

Tue 3 Aug 2010, 18:18 BST
Issue No. 2213
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