Socialist Worker

Unions suspend Tube walkout - but more action could thrash the Tories

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2468

Everyone out the door at Brixton station picket during strike earlier this month

Everyone out the door at Brixton station picket during strike earlier this month (Pic: Lewis Nielsen)


Unions have suspended London Tube strikes planned for Tuesday and Thursday of this week. The three unions—RMT, TSSA and Unite—said progress had been made in talks with bosses.

Full details were unclear as Socialist Worker went to press but the dispute is not over.

All four Tube unions—RMT, Aslef, TSSA and Unite—walked out in July and August over conditions for introducing Night Tube and over pay. Aslef was not part of this week’s action.

The RMT announced further strikes between 8 and 10 September. It is right to do so as there is no guarantee bosses will stick to their word.

Only two months ago workers were being told they could “strike until they are blue in the face” but it wouldn’t make a difference.

But RMT member Lynda told Socialist Worker, “Our action forced the bosses back to the table and it looks like significant concessions could be won.

“People feel we’ve moved forward and action has got us there.” 

Cuts

Unions are still fighting over jobs, conditions and the service in stations following a major cuts plan by Transport for London (TfL) bosses.

The RMT and TSSA struck against this last year. But the dispute was never really settled due to a confused strike strategy.

Now ticket offices are being shut down across the Tube network. This weakness hangs over the current dispute.

Lynda added, “It’s good that we’ve set dates for September. But we should’ve kept the action on this week until we settle for what we want.”

One union official called the suspension a “goodwill gesture”. But there’s not much goodwill coming from leading Tories in City Hall. 

Transport committee member Richard Tracey has argued that bosses should take on “militant trade union leaders”. 

He called to “ban strikes on public transport”.

Tube workers’ action can shut these rabid Tories up. They should use the next opportunity they get to give them a thrashing.


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