Socialist Worker

Extend the tube strikes to win

by Matthew Cookson
Issue No. 2229

A fourth 24-hour strike by tube workers fighting for jobs and safety is set to bring London Underground to a halt from 6.30pm on Sunday.

Three solid strikes by 10,000 members of the RMT and TSSA unions in the last few months have confronted bosses’ plans to slash 1,600 jobs across the network.

These cuts will severely hit staff and passenger safety and the service.

A leaked Transport for London document, seen by the RMT, admits that there are already some unstaffed stations—and that there will be more in the future. This goes against its previous claim to keep “stations staffed at all times”.

Unstaffed

The document says, “There are a number of stations across the network left unstaffed from time to time…

“With the OSP [station staff job cuts programme] and future station staffing changes it may become more of an issue at more locations more frequently.”

The tube unions are fighting to stop these damaging cuts and everyone should get behind them—visiting picket lines, inviting speakers to union meetings and taking collections.

While talks are still taking place, Socialist Worker understands management has made little movement.

Activists are debating how best to take the dispute forward. Many rightly argue for more, and longer, strikes to up the pressure.

Some hardcore sections of the bosses want to smash the unions, with London mayor Boris Johnson’s support.

Their attitude is clear in the victimisation of RMT members Eamon Lynch and Arwyn Thomas.

Eamon Lynch, Bakerloo Line drivers’ health and safety rep, has been sacked. Arwyn Thomas, an RMT member at Morden, is facing disciplinary charges following unproven allegations made against him by strike-breakers.

RMT members are balloting for strikes in their defence. The ballots close on 7 December.

Tube workers were set to hold a strike rally on Thursday of this week in London.


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News
Tue 23 Nov 2010, 18:26 GMT
Issue No. 2229
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