Members of Tube union RMT in London met via Zoom on 7 September to discuss the union’s response to cuts which the union expects to be proposed by an ongoing audit into Transport for London and London Underground’s finances.
The audit was ordered by the Tory government as part of a funding bailout given to TfL in June, with accountancy firm KPMG appointed to run it.
There was a strong consensus in the meeting to oppose any and all cuts recommended by the review. Several members emphasised the need for RMT to go on the offensive against arguments from the bosses and government that TfL/LU needs to be “self-financing”, and that cuts were necessary due to the collapse in fare revenue during the pandemic. “We didn’t cause the crisis, we shouldn’t have to pay for it”, argued one rep.
There was debate over the best time to launch an industrial action ballot. Some, including supporters of Tubeworker, the rank-and-file bulletin published by Workers’ Liberty, argued that RMT should ballot as soon as administratively possible. Others argued it would be better to wait until the details of the KPMG audit are known.
Drivers’ union Aslef is already balloting its members on LU, with the ballot due to close on 17 September. RMT members in Service Control on London Underground’s Victoria line are also currently balloting for industrial action, in a local dispute against management bullying, with the ballot closing on 15 September.