Tube: not over until the fat lady sings!

Submitted by AWL on 11 January, 2003 - 5:58

By Janine Booth, Political Officer, London Transport Region RMT (personal capacity)

A MAILING from the rail union RMT to its members on the Tube has explained, over two pages, that the PPP is about to happen on London Underground and that the union will continue to fight for workers' interests once it is in place.

The other way of putting this is: RMT has given up the fight against privatisation.
This is despite the fact that the last meeting of the London Transport Regional Council unanimously agreed a resolution that we should launch a final effort to stop the PPP, which everyone understood to mean including a strike ballot. Individual branches have passed similar resolutions.

I acknowledge that the other unions gave up a long time ago. TSSA gave up before it even started. ASLEF, who joined the campaign late in any case, dropped out nearly two years ago.
However, it is outrageous for the union to give up at this stage. For two reasons:

1. "It's not over until the fat lady sings", as they say. While we still have time to fight, we should.

2. The representative body of the workers concerned - the Regional Council - voted without dissent to step up the fight. Who do the Council of Executives think they are to over-rule us? PPP has potentially devastating effects on our jobs, our conditions, our safety. It should be us - the members on London Underground - who decide whether to keep fighting or to throw in the towel. For the Executive to ignore or over-rule the decision of the Regional Council is highly undemocratic.

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