The RMT has announced two 48-hour strikes, beginning on 23 June and 14 July, in a dispute over jobs and pay on London Underground.
The dispute is bound up with the recent collapse of the PPP agreement, whereby the private entity TubeLines was bought back in-house by Transport for London for £310 million, becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary company of TfL.
Despite the blame for the failure of the scheme clearly lying with TfL and TubeLines bosses, there have been no guarantees from management that the costs of the buyout will not be passed onto workers.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said “we have made it perfectly clear to Transport for London that we do not expect our members to take the hit for the final collapse of the disastrous tube privatisation experiment. Those responsible for the fiasco have creamed off vast amounts of Londoners’ cash in profits and are even getting a further £310 million ‘golden goodbye’ pay off in what is a reward for failure on a massive scale.
“We have sought concrete assurances that staff will not be expected to pay off the Tube Line’s exit costs in job losses, attacks on safe working conditions and an undermining of pay rates. Now that we have this massive mandate for action it’s essential that those assurances are forthcoming as a matter of urgency.
“With the transfer of Tube Lines we expect TfL to take responsibility for maintaining the pay, jobs and conditions of the workforce that they will need in place if they are going to get the upgrade programme back on track in time for the Olympics.”
Over 90% of workers balloted voted yes to action, which will primarily affect maintenance work on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines.