Tube workers on London Underground (LU) are set for two 48-hour strikes following a 77 percent vote to strike over jobs, services and safety.
The first strike, called by the RMT union, is set to begin at 12 noon on Tuesday 4 February. A second walkout is set to start at 12 noon on Tuesday 11 February.
The TSSA union was balloting its members on London Underground from Friday of this week. The ballot ends on 27 January and members could strike as early as 3 February.
LU bosses want to close every ticket office and cut nearly 1,000 posts from tube stations. Workers will be expected to reapply for their jobs, accept downgrading and attacks on their conditions and “flexibility”.
RMT stations functional rep Eamonn Lynch told Socialist Worker, “London Underground bosses are in for the fight of their lives. Both RMT and TSSA unions are coming together to fight these cuts.
“We’ll deliver a knock-out blow—our members are up for it.”
Lynda Aitken is a ticket seller at London Bridge station. She told Socialist Worker, “Management is determined to push through these cuts.
“The RMT and TSSA will have to match their determination to defeat these attacks. Four days of action and an overtime ban are a starting point, but this has to be followed up quickly with more hard-hitting strikes.”
Action short of a strike will take place on 7, 10 and 14 February for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. Workers will not be carrying out revenue duties.
Some RMT members have concerns about the potential impact of this action. This strengthens the case for strikes that shut stations.
The ballot shows that strikes are strongly supported and that anger at the cuts runs deep.
One station control room assistant told Socialist Worker, “This is a fundamental attack on the hard-won conditions of tube workers”.
When workers struck in 2010, every day cost £48 million. Strikes that shut down the network London’s economy relies on can stop the bosses in their tracks.