By a London Underground worker
A shorter working week deal on London Underground which gave workers a 35 hour week is about to blow apart.
Management have used the deal as cover to viciously attack staffing levels, to push through cuts that they have wanted for a long time. Double-cover supervisors, platform turns, Ticket Office opening hours, gateline coverage — are all in the firing line.
The company has pushed this at local level, trying to kid us that it is a harmless “consultation” and a small sacrifice to get our 35-hour week. In fact, it’s a push to make our work harder and more dangerous.
Unfortunately, the unions have let the company make the running so far. We have been kept isolated in our groups, with local reps doing their best to resist the attacks, but not enough co-ordination and leadership of the union’s response.
However, the RMT has held a reps’ meeting and will now demand from management a directors-level meeting where LUL shows its hand on the full extent of its plans.
The union will have to oppose the loss of coverage, and we will have to gear up for strike action.
Meanwhile signallers await the details of the implementation of their (not very good) 35-hour week deal. Rumours are flying about redeployment, but there is little hard information from the union.
Staff have had letters asking if they are interested in voluntary severance. Information from management suggests that there may well be significant numbers of people facing redeployment — a bit different from our union’s verbal assurances when they were trying to rally a Yes vote for the deal.
We should try to bring together station staff and signallers — and drivers too — to fight for a better deal for all of us.