Socialist Worker

Second union joins strike on London Underground

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2388

RMT pickets on a previous strike

RMT pickets on a previous strike (Pic: Jess Hurd/

Workers in the TSSA tube workers’ union have voted by 59 percent to join with the RMT union for two 48-hour strikes.

The first was set to start at 9pm on Tuesday of next week.

The strikes are in response to an unprecedented attack by London Underground bosses to close every ticket office and cut nearly 1,000 posts.

Workers will have to re-apply for their own jobs, accept downgrading, attacks on their conditions and “flexibility”.

But the high level of support shows tube workers are not prepared to take this attack lying down. RMT members voted by 77 percent for the action.

A second 48-hour strike is set for Tuesday 11 February from 9pm, with an overtime ban already in place and action short of a strike planned to complement the strikes.

In the action short of a strike station grades are instructed by the RMT not to carry out revenue duties. 

On 7, 10 and 14 February between 9.30-11.30am and 6.30-8.30pm RMT members in ticket offices are set to walk out but stay on duty on stations. Other station staff will open barriers.

Lynda Aitken is a ticket seller at London Bridge station. She told Socialist Worker, “The overtime ban is pretty solid in my section and it’s causing a real headache for management.”

RMT’s London leadership altered the start time of the strikes after coming under pressure from union activists.

“It’s really positive that they’ve done this,” said Lynda. “The new times mean we coordinate better and ensure every member comes out at the same time. 

“It means we have a greater chance of shutting the job down effectively. Now we’ve got to build the action. We should be confident about escalating the strikes. 

“It was good to hear Bob Crow talk about five days—that’s the kind of hard-hitting action we need to win. If we don’t stand firm now the bosses are only going to come back for more. It’s better that we start fighting now.”

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