Socialist Worker

London Underground workers to escalate strikes

by Matthew Cookson
Issue No. 2223

Union activists on London Underground are pushing to escalate strikes as management step up attacks on jobs and safety.

Two 24-hour strikes by RMT and TSSA union members have rocked tube bosses and London mayor Boris Johnson.

Three large RMT branches last week passed a motion calling on the union to coordinate with the firefighters in London, and “up the ante and strike for 48 hours”.

Members at the East Ham, Jubilee South and the East London Line, and Engineering branches voted unanimously for the motion.

Two smaller branches rejected it.

More branches will discuss the motion in the next week.

Bosses have announced a second tranche of job losses, adding another 800 to the original 800 station positions to go. This new wave includes many managers who scabbed during the strikes.

“The votes in the branches show there is a mood for stepping up the action,” said one RMT member on London Underground. “The power of the 24-hour strikes has shifted the dynamic in the dispute, and now we have to shift our tactics to win.

“If we are serious about doing this, we need to link up with the firefighters and increase the length of the strikes. If you argue with the rank and file you can convince them of the need for this.”

More 24-hour strikes are planned for 2 November and 28 November.

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Tue 12 Oct 2010, 18:13 BST
Issue No. 2223
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