Socialist Worker

Tube drivers close Hammersmith and City line

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2522

Tube drivers were on strike last week

Tube drivers were on strike last week (Pic: cgpgrey.com)


Tube drivers on the Hammersmith & City and Circle London Underground lines struck for 24 hours last week, ending on Friday night.

The drivers are RMT union members. One picket told Socialist Worker, “They’ve only got half the Circle running and no Hammersmith & City.”

The other half of the Circle line was only running, the striker said, due to a “cock up” in only balloting two out of three depots.

The RMT said, “The dispute is over heavy handed and aggressive management, including putting staff toilet breaks on a stop watch.”

The picket added, “We feel strongly about the sacking of one of our colleagues.

“Train operators are being harassed over physical rest breaks and there’s a breakdown in the negotiating machinery.”

More talks are planned but workers expect to strike again.

Union activists must push to ensure all drivers are balloted next time, and not just in the RMT.

A united strike with drivers in the Aslef union can bring the bosses to heel.


Unions declare a dispute on CalMac ferries after bosses’ pay attacks

Unions are in dispute with bosses at CalMac, the publicly-owned Scottish ferry service. Days of talks have produced a pay offer that won’t keep pace with inflation.

CalMac was awarded an eight-year contract by the Scottish National Party (SNP) government to run the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service contract earlier this year.

Now it is clear that CalMac’s successful bid committed to only offering pay rises based on the CPI rate of inflation instead of the usually higher RPI used previously.

Workers are also angry that a bonus that has been in place every year for over a decade is to be scrapped.

This applies to everyone except people not covered by a collective bargaining agreement, which includes all the senior managers and directors. It would seem the only reason the SNP didn’t privatise CalMac was because bosses promised to cut costs and attack workers’ pay and conditions.


RMT union members at one of Britain’s largest rail freight companies were set to strike for 24 hours this week. Some 75 percent of the union’s Freightliner Heavy Haul members voted for the action.

They are demanding a better pay deal for ground staff, shift managers, clerical and supervisory staff.

Bosses offered zero percent last year.

They have since used a downturn in the use of coal to consult on redundancies instead of giving workers a pay rise.

Yet Freightliner’s directors managed to find money to hand themselves a 30 percent pay rise in the last year.


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