Socialist Worker

Tube workers debate next step

Issue No. 2220

A group of rank and file activists on London Underground took part in an important discussion on Monday about the next steps in their fight for jobs and safety. It followed a solid strike at the beginning of this month.

Steve Hedley, the RMT union’s regional organiser, opened the Trouble Down The Line meeting.

Steve hailed the strike’s strength and the fact that members of the TSSA union had also struck.

He said that the union should continue with its effective overtime ban and prepare for the next 24-hour strike beginning on 3 October.

Luke Chester, the TSSA regional organiser, said that his union’s participation in the strike showed that it was changing, and was a sign of the level of attacks workers faced.

An engineering worker spoke about the huge job cuts being pushed through at the Tube Lines maintenance firm, and how more cuts are planned across the tube network.

A worker from the Alstom train maintainers, who also struck three weeks ago, spoke about their action over pay. They have another strike planned for next week.

A Socialist Worker supporter on the tube said, “We have a lot of strengths but a series of 24-hour strikes is not guaranteed to win.

“There are two immediate problems—the first is that in a few months all the jobs we are fighting for will be gone. The second is that management is implementing reorganisation with reduced staffing levels.

“We need to build up workplace organisation on the ground to be able to deliver more than 24 hours.”

Everyone agreed that there needed to be more solidarity across the union, including with firefighters and members of the Aslef drivers’ union.

While there were some disagreements over strategy, there was unity over the need to ensure the next action is as powerful as possible.


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Tue 21 Sep 2010, 17:36 BST
Issue No. 2220
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