Socialist Worker

Picket Line round-up

Issue No. 1909

Leytonstone train crew depot

Quite a lot of new people on picket line, about a dozen of us from 4.45am.

For quite a few it was their first picket. A couple of staff came up but we turned them away. The only people who crossed the picket line were managers.

Leytonstone station was shut for the first time. One guy came to picket line specifically to congratulate us.

His brother had phoned to say he’d seen it on the news. One of the bus drivers asked for a handful of RMT forms and wants to get his colleagues to join the union. The television, of course, showed only one nutter who came up to scream abuse at us.

Fiona Prior, rep Bank station group

Bond Street station

We turned people away and were treated to a visit by a top manager who “did not see the point” of the strike.

He said it’s not a bad job. I said, “It’s bollocks for someone trying to bring up a family. If you don’t turn up to work tomorrow, who’s going to know or care? But if we don’t…”

He must be earning way more than twice what I make. Then that manager had a go at scabs for sitting around doing nothing while pickets were helping punters with directions. The station was closed all day.

It’s first time Bond Street has ever been picketed, and for most people it was their first picket.

Jon Abdullah, rep Bond Street

Edgware Road station and train crew depot

One of best sights on a picket line is watching managers finally having to do a day’s work.

We made sure they updated their service information boards every 15 minutes, as they make their staff do.

At Edgware Road they love to send all the senior managers down to give “customer service” (ie intimidate pickets).

Great mix of station staff and train drivers on picket—even a call centre worker from headquarters came to join us.

Kept Edgware Road and Hammersmith stations closed. Usual City idiots coming up to tell us we should be gassed, but support came from normal people, like it always does.

Mac McKenna, rep King’s Cross group

Acton Town

Very successful picket at Bollo House, the second biggest train crew depot on London Underground. It is a strong RMT depot but has some Aslef drivers. Only one driver out of 250 crossed our picket line.

Mind you, since the signallers were all out, nothing was going to move on the Piccadilly Line anyway!

Olly New, chair RMT London Transport Regional Council

Acton District line depot

Very good spirit. A couple of booking office staff at Acton Town station turned up but were persuaded not to come in.

Two dozen Aslef drivers did cross. Pickets agreed that we need to make a big effort to build maximum unity in the depot.

The overall success of the strike meant people felt confident we could build a stronger unity in each area.

We’ve got the next few weeks to do that. Not one of the 11 stations in our group opened.

Peter Hughes, station rep Piccadilly and District West group

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