Socialist Worker

Tube stations dispute called off--but workers didn’t get a say

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2490

Tube stations disrupted by a previous strike

Tube stations disrupted by a previous strike (Pic: Socialist Worker)

A 48-hour strike by London Tube station staff planned for last Saturday was called off after the RMT union accepted new proposals from bosses.

The RMT has said the dispute “is now resolved” and all action is “cancelled”.

There is rightly some disquiet that the proposals were not first put to members before the union accepted them.

The walkout was set to be part of a week of action against cuts imposed on stations by bosses under the guise of their “Fit for the Future” reorganisation.

In accepting the deal the union said it “reaffirmed our concerns about the Fit for the Future concept but also notes that the new model will commence”.

It’s true that bosses would have had it all their own way had station staff not fought back.

Yet bosses have attacked terms and conditions, and closed ticket offices. Hundreds of jobs have gone.

Solid walkouts in 2014 by RMT and TSSA union members gave the campaign momentum.

Had union leaders not thrown that momentum away for talks, the picture today could look very different.

Maintenance workers' action over safety could have big impact

Tube maintenance staff working on London Underground were set to strike for 24 hours from 6.30am on Friday of this week in the first of a series of seven strikes.

The action will have a big impact on planned maintenance work.

The RMT union members work for Tube Lines and London Underground.

They are in dispute over safety after bosses imposed new track access arrangements called Section 15 Possessions.

The changes mean a switch from a computerised system for track access to one where individual staff members work “from memory with little to no training” according to the union.

The RMT said, “From a situation where everyone knew how to access the track, we now have anarchy and uncertainty. Into this mix we have engineering train movements that we believe will lead to someone being killed and this union will not sit back and wait for a disaster to happen.”

Three further strikes are set for 6, 25 and 27 March with one strike a month in April, May and June.

Some 500 track patrol staff in the RMT are also set to strike alongside maintenance crew in a dispute over the use of private contractors to casualise and undermine their jobs.

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