There was anger last week after the RMT union called off a planned week of strikes on the Tube due to start on 23 July. It would have been the most significant action so far in a long-running dispute over jobs, conditions and pensions. The union claimed it had won concessions that justified suspending the strikes. But in my station there was a mix of anger and bafflement.
We ran a poll on the decision in our WhatsApp group, as many other areas did. All of them agreed unanimously or overwhelmingly that the union was wrong to call off the strikes.
One concession the RMT cited was the end of a draconian Attendance At Work policy. It’s good this has been dropped. But this was announced after our ballot, so wasn’t technically why we were striking. Similarly, a trains “modernisation” plan has been shelved. But on both of these issues, bosses want to “negotiate” changes in the future.
On pensions, we were told that no change would take place until 2026. Some said this meant attacks are “postponed”. But the company has said throughout that any changes would take years to implement. And the job cuts we face, a major part of our strike ballot, are ongoing. This is the third time in this dispute that the RMT has suspended strikes. There’s a real danger that members will become disillusioned.
And there’s anger about the way the strikes were called off, without a reps’ meeting. The bosses’ line of march remains to escalate their attacks. Our union should be escalating its action in response.
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