London Underground: jobs and safety battles continue

Submitted by Matthew on 21 October, 2010 - 10:44

The battle for jobs on the London Underground continues, with another 24 hours of strike action beginning on the evening of Tuesday 2 November.

Now fleet maintenance workers have voted overwhelmingly (88% in favour) for action short of a strike against cuts that have disrupted maintenance schedules, leaving equipment such as brakes in what the RMT calls “a lethal state of disrepair”.

Management is still on the warpath, however. London Underground has announced another 800 job cuts, planning to get rid of 400 “support staff” and not filling another 400 posts currently either vacant or covered by temps.

RMT MATS (Managers, Admin, Technical and Support) rep Roy Carey said "We in the RMT believe you should not feel intimidated, or live in fear when coming to work. The fear and threat of losing your job is something none of us need. We will fight every job cut."

Talks between bosses and unions at ACAS are ongoing, but in an instructive move RMT and TSSA have chosen to negotiate from a position of strength (i.e. within an ongoing dispute) rather than calling off their action just because bosses agree to sit round a table. A “review” of management’s proposed job cuts began on Monday 18 October and will last for two weeks.

GLA condemns the cuts

At the third attempt, the Greater London Assembly has voted to condemn the proposed jobs cuts on the Tube. The Tories walked out of two previous votes. This time Labour, Lib Dems and the Greens succeeded in passing a motion. It is a useful addition to the industrial campaign. For regular updates visit

www.rmtlondoncalling.org.uk

Support Janine Booth!

AWL member Janine Booth is standing for election to the RMT's Council of Executives for the position of London Transport Region member.

At the time of writing, she had been nominated by 10 out of 16 RMT branches in the region, with 5 nominating her opponent and 1 yet to nominate.

Janine is basing her campaign on the principles of rank-and-file democracy. She wants to give grassroots RMT members more say over how their union is run. She is also campaigning for an industrial strategy that aims to win, including the introduction of strike pay so RMT members can have the confidence to carry out prolonged disputes with management if necessary without fear of the financial consequences. And she is campaigning for socialism – at a time when London Underground bosses are attempting to make workers pay for a crisis they created, Janine is fighting for a vision of society where the interests of the working-class majority come first.

AWL members in London will be supporting the campaign by helping distribute Janine's election material at stations and other LU workplaces as well as canvassing staff. The Tubeworker bulletin will play a central role. Janine Booth is the only candidate in the election fighting for real change and grassroots control within the union.

• To get involved with the campaign, email janine.booth@btopenworld.com

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