Socialist Worker

Overtime ban at London Underground to reopen fight with bosses

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2419

London Underground workers were set to begin an indefinite overtime ban on Wednesday of this week.   

Workers involved in the action include Tube drivers and ticket office staff.

The action is described by the RMT union as “the next phase of industrial action” in their dispute with Tube bosses’ attack on jobs and the service.

Following a successful 48-hour strike in April a further three-day strike in early May was suspended.

The RMT leadership argued that there were “tangible advances” made from talks.

Yet as talks rumbled on during the summer the scale of the attack on workers’ terms and conditions has become clear.

 Bosses have reneged on promises to protect workers’ salaries and location of work.

They had promised to review every station, saying that this could mean “some ticket offices staying open”.

But the union came out of the talks with a significantly worse deal as the scale of bosses’ plans became apparent. 

This includes slashing some 1,800 frontline jobs, a 400 percent increase in the number of managers, and pay cuts of up to £12,000 a year. 

Staff are to undergo assessments to judge their “competence” for new posts.  

Workers have to accept “displacement” to different stations to guarantee their substantive salary. 

If they refuse they will be downgraded with only three years’ protected earnings.

Transport for London and London Underground are paying more managers six-figure salaries than ever before.

The strength of the strikes this year showed why only hard-hitting action can stop Tube bosses and Tory London mayor Boris Johnson in their tracks. 

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