Tube union RMT will ballot its members across London Underground, after a reps’ meeting on 7 November rejected LU bosses’ latest pay offer.
Tube workers’ current deal expired on 1 April 2019, and unions have been in negotiations to secure a new settlement since February. A central demand has been for a reduction in the working week, with unions citing scientific evidence that extreme shift working shortens life and demanding additional time off for workers.
LU’s latest offer is for a four-year deal, with RPI + 0.2% pay increases in years one and three, and 1.4% pay increases in years two and four, with a one-hour reduction in the working week, from 35 to 34, over the life of the deal, equating to six additional days off.
An RMT rep told Solidarity: “When negotiations began, the bosses were completely intransigent that they wouldn’t even discuss reducing the working week. They’ve now budged from that position, but not nearly enough. Six extra days off over four years doesn’t come anywhere near to meeting our aspirations for a radical improvement in work-life balance to address issues around fatigue and the long-term health impact of the kind of shift working that many Tube workers do.
Our employers plead poverty, but they’ve found the money to give senior managers pay increases of up to 74% over the past few years. It’s time to build for industrial action to increase the pressure on them.”
No formal timetable for the RMT’s ballot has been announced, but a union circular to members said it aimed to commence the ballot at the end of November.