Socialist Worker

RMT members say, ‘this station is non-operational’ as dispute gets serious

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2534

Station staff on the Underground can bring the system to a standstill

Station staff on the Underground can bring the system to a standstill (Pic: Ed Webster/WikiCommons)

RMT union general secretary Mick Cash has slammed London Underground management for allowing London’s tube stations to descend into chaos as a result of job cuts.

Station staff are currently carrying out an overtime ban.

The action is part of ongoing industrial action over the impact of the cuts.

“London’s tube stations have been operating on the basis of our members’ goodwill,” said Cash.

“Now that our members are refusing to work six-day weeks and additional hours the system is collapsing.”

London Underground bosses have given “Travel Ambassadors”—non-operational staff—a fraction of the training that fully trained staff receive.

The idea is to use them to replace fully trained workers during industrial disputes.

These “ambassadors” are paid up to three times the rate for a shift that station staff would be paid.

Cash said, “London Underground management paid severance packages to around 900 experienced station supervisors and ticket clerks.

“Now they are offering unqualified admin staff and managers up to £250 a shift to avoid stations closing due to lack of staff.

“You just could not make it up.”

Catering workers fed up with chicken feed pay offer

Virgin West Coast catering workers were set to strike for 48 hours from 10pm on Tuesday and again on Tuesday of next week from 10pm in a dispute over pay.

The RMT union members are employed by DHL Global Group. It has the contract to supply pre-prepared food, crockery and cutlery for Virgin’s on board catering from London to Glasgow.

DHL offered a 2.2 percent pay rise effective from 1 July, not the original anniversary date of 1 April.

They only offered it to staff who did not receive a rise in line with the National Minimum Wage in April 2016.

The union said bosses were “trying to drag back the wages of the low paid to the absolute lowest of poverty thresholds”.

Cleaners on Great Western Railways (GWR) were set to strike for 24 hours from 6am on Friday. They are in dispute with their Servest bosses over pay, annual leave and parity with GWR staff.

It stems from the transfer of GWR’s cleaning contract from Mitie to Servest. Workers voted for strikes by 98 percent.

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