Socialist Worker

Unity delivers a strong Tube strike

Issue No. 2233

On the Tube picket line in Morden (Pic: Ben Windsor)

On the Tube picket line in Morden (Pic: Ben Windsor)

A solid strike by train drivers in the Aslef union on London Underground had a severe effect on the running of the tube network on Boxing Day.

The workers were furious that management had failed to offer extra pay for working on the bank holiday.

The strike hit every underground line with the Circle and Northern lines suspended, and limited services and part suspensions on others.

The High Court threw out London Underground’s attempted injunction against the strike. A number of members of the RMT union showed great solidarity by refusing to work on the day.

The drivers’ action followed four days of strikes by RMT and TSSA members over job losses, and strikes by RMT members at Morden, Elephant and Castle, and Queens Park depots against the victimisations of two union reps.

Eamon Lynch and Arwyn Thomas have both been sacked in what Bob Crow, the RMT general secretary, called “clear-cut cases of victimisation”.

Members struck for 24-hours in their support from 9pm on Friday 17 December. But it is clear that management will not back down without a wider, extended fight.

While the unions are talking about escalating the strikes if the job losses dispute is not resolved, they have accepted reviews into the issues, which means it is unlikely further action will take place.

Tube workers will face a number of issues in the coming months and they will need to take united, hard-hitting action to stop the bosses’ plan.

London Midland

In an attack on the legal right to strike, the high court granted an injunction to London Midland against a planned strike by drivers in the Aslef union.

The union called off the action planned for 23 December. The court ruling was based on the company challenging the legitimacy of just three of the 600-plus ballot papers issued, which saw an 86 percent vote for industrial action.

Arriva Train Wales

Train drivers in the RMT struck at Arriva Train Wales on Monday 27 December forcing the cancellation of all Valley Line trains. Their strike was over pay and conditions and the union has promised more strikes if the company does not come back to negotiations.

Northern Rail

Around 1,000 RMT members struck at Northern Rail on 27 and 28 December over bank holiday pay. Their action severely hit train services across northern England. The company wanted staff to work during the bank holiday at a flat rate with no enhancements.

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Article information

Tue 4 Jan 2011, 17:30 GMT
Issue No. 2233
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