London Underground: unions unite?

Submitted by AWL on 17 June, 2015 - 12:07

In an unprecedented show of unity, all four Tube unions (RMT, ASLEF, TSSA, and Unite) have declared disputes with London Underground over the 2015 pay settlement and the implementation of “Night Tube” (24-hour running). Ballots are due back around 30 June, with the potential for a joint strike.

LU has offered a 0.75% pay increase (meagre compared to the 2%+ figures won on DLR, Network Rail, Southern, and elsewhere), and wants to impose “Night Tube” without proper consultation and agreements.

RMT is concurrently reballoting station staff for further action in the dispute against job cuts, displacements, ticket office closures, and the imposition of anti-social rosters.

Supporters of Tubeworker, Off The Rails’ sister bulletin on LU, have argued that the latter dispute should retain an all-grades focus, and not narrow down to a station-grades-only fight.
Unions must make sure the pay campaign is fought with their positive demands front and centre - a shorter working week, and a pay award that reflects increases in the cost of living, particularly for the lowest-paid grades.

If any union shows signs of settling on their own and peeling away from the fight, activists in the other unions should appeal to their rank-and-file to mobilise against a sell-out. Joint meetings and reps’ committees could help with that.

For regular updates, see the Tubeworker blog here.

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