LU bosses have cynically exploited the coronavirus crisis to pressure unions into accepting a shoddy pay settlement that three out of four had previously rejected.
RMT has now accepted LU’s latest offer, of RPI+0.2% for 2019-2023, with guaranteed minimums of 1% and 2% in years three and four, after senior manager Peter McNaught issued unions with an ultimatum that, if they didn’t accept, it would be withdrawn and replaced with a worse offer. TSSA accepted last month, and Unite have now also accepted the offer. At the time of writing, Aslef had not yet formally accepted, but we understand they are likely to.
LU has used a global pandemic to avoid making further concessions on pay/conditions, showing again that the bosses are not suspending their side of the class struggle.
While we fully acknowledge the difficulty of the situation, and acknowledge that refusing to accept the offer would've been a gamble that could've backfired, Tubeworker still believes acceptance was wrong, and would’ve preferred our unions to hold firm in the face of this management blackmail. Now we need to use our anger at management’s cynical conduct to lay the ground for new battles, to be fought as soon as possible.
The deal runs to 2023, but we should not give the bosses three years of peace. We should prepare new, offensive disputes for the demands in our pay claims, ideally combine-wide, but function-specific if necessary.