Fight for Boxing Day equality

Posted in Tubeworker's blog on Wed, 08/04/2020 - 12:59,

LU has agreed improved Boxing Day pay arrangements for drivers, who’ll now receive quadruple pay for volunteering to work on 26 December.

We’ve reported on this issue previously, arguing that any improved arrangements should apply to all staff.

Many frontline Tube workers, including station staff, cleaners, and many engineering and maintenance staff, don’t get a choice about working Boxing Day. It’s just part of our regular rosters. Why shouldn’t we be entitled to a bonus too?

There are some trade-offs in the drivers’ deal, including the extension of the bar on depot transfers to 24 months for full-time drivers, and the introduction of part-time working on weekend days.

The pandemic is elbowing out many other issues at the moment, but we shouldn’t allow struggles and demands to be suspended or shelved. Whatever happens with the pandemic, Boxing Day will take place, and it’s simply unjust that some LU workers will get a bonus for volunteering to work it, while those of us who have no choice will only get our standard salary.

RMT is right to make Boxing Day pay parity one of the demands of its “Justice for Station Staff” campaign. We should not wait until we return to “normality” to press that demand; if it could be negotiated and signed off for drivers during the pandemic, it can be for the rest of us, too.

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