Since November 2013, London Underground workers have been fighting a management cuts plan that could see hundreds of jobs slashed and every ticket office on the network close.
Strikes in February and April, as well as overtime bans and other industrial action, along with the threat of further strikes, have pushed management back. They have been forced to delay the implementation of their cuts until early 2016, and make a number of concessions to the RMT (the only Tube union which has consistently fought the cuts).
These concessions include a guarantee that any worker affected by the new staffing model will be “mapped” into a grade of equivalent salary, as well as minor concessions on the extent of the staffing reduction.
However, the prospect of savage cuts and closures remain. Supporters of Off The Rails’ sister publication, the Tubeworker bulletin, have led in the way in building “Hands Off London Transport”, a campaigning coalition involving trade unionists, disabled activists, student unions, and other working-class community campaigns, because we see this issue not just as an industrial struggle between bosses and workers, but a class battle over public transport.
The latest phase of the campaign has seen unions enter local negotiations over staffing levels at individual stations.
Tubeworker supporters will be arguing strongly that, if these negotiations leave the job cuts plan intact, London Underground workers should gear up for more strikes.