Socialist Worker

Transport round-up: Strike to derail bosses’ attacks on Night Tube

Issue No. 2765

Workers on the picket line during a previous Tube strike

Workers on the picket line during a previous Tube strike (Pic: Guy Smallman)

London Underground workers are braced for four days of strikes from next week.

The RMT union members are fighting back against bosses’ plans to abolish the Night Tube train drivers’ grade.

Night Tube drivers plan to walk out for 24 hours from mid-day on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week—and again on 24 and 25 August.

Workers voted strongly in favour of strikes. Bosses want to force them to work a combination of both night and day shifts as opposed to a separate role for Night Tube drivers.

This will impose unfair work rotas on 3,000 drivers, impacting their social and home lives. And on top of this attack, 200 jobs are under threat in the plans that will come into force next year. The strike plans to target the entire London Underground network despite high levels of workers self-isolating.

Unfortunately train drivers union Aslef is not joining the strike.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said, “London Underground’s proposals to rip up an agreement that protects 3,000 Tube drivers’ work life balance has caused uproar amongst drivers. This breach of trust by an out of touch management abolishes the part-time jobs of workers, mainly women, who want them.

“This is the thanks that Tube drivers have been given for keeping the service running through the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This is a blatant attempt to now use that pandemic to start bulldozing through a savage programme of cuts.”

Messages of support can be sent to [email protected]

Cleaners hold mitie action to sweep away poverty pay

Train and station cleaners on Merseyrail took action last Friday in support of pay justice.

RMT union members struck and protested outside the headquatres of subcontractor Mitie and Merseyrail in Liverpool.

It came after they voted for action by a vast majority.

Workers were offered a tiny increase to their already low pay. It would have left them far short of the real living wage of £9.50 an hour.

Many workers would have been paid less than £10 an hour—the absolute minimum the RMT is demanding.

Mitie made a fortune on the Merseyrail franchise.

And its chief executive, Phil Bentley tried to give himself a bonus package amounting to over £5 million.

Meanwhile the cleaners have been facing the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic head on. The workers are also angry about attacks on their holiday pay. RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said, “It is frankly disgusting that this wealthy company is attempting to consign its frontline cleaning staff to a lifetime of poverty pay.

“It is rolling in cash when it comes to boardroom salaries and bonuses.”

Meanwhile, workers on Scotrail continue their Sunday strikes for workplace equality and justice.

The RMT union says Transport Scotland, the government and Abellio haven’t broken their silence. The dispute is set to continue until at least 5 September.

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