Regional Executives Report - July 2015

RESOLUTION PASSED AT THE GGC 30/07/15

We note the intransigence of London Underground management and their failure to meet our reasonable demands on Every Job Matters and on Pay and Night Working. London Underground management continue to press proposals that will destroy jobs and life work balance on London Underground and we are left with no alternative but to organise a further strike, which will be for 48 hours.

We instruct the General Secretary to organise a meeting of London Underground reps and regional officers and GGC members to discuss our future strategy and to work out the best times and dates for this action. Discussions with the other trade unions in dispute will continue with an aim of maintaining a united approach to our strike action as far as possible. The GGC agrees to continue to produce the necessary strike material and leaflets both for our members and for our public campaign.

STRIKE REPORT

United action by Aslef, RMT, Tssa and UNITE stopped every train and closed every station on the 8/9 July. This followed over 50% of members voting and over 90% voting yes to strike action.
We are fighting for a fair deal on pay and night tube working. As a cost of living pay rise, management have offered us 1% for the first year and 1% or RPI, whichever is the higher for years two and three. All further payments would be in return for the TUs agreeing to implement night tube and rosters containing more night and weekend working.
These additional payments would consist of a consolidated payment of £500 for all staff. Drivers, who work on lines carrying out night working, would get a further £2K while all other grades on the night tube lines would only get a further £500.

RMT, TSSA & Unite are also fighting a separate but connected dispute over 838 job cuts and the casualisation of working arrangements on tube stations. The strike dates announced cover both disputes.

Night tube payments offered by LU are a divisive attempt to buy off staff for giving up their hard won agreements and conditions that allow for regular weekends off and rosters that allow a work/life balance. Only one third of staff will get the £2K bonus while staff who have to take on extra nights and weekends in the future get nothing.

Station staff are having their agreements ripped up and will have to work, anytime anywhere any grade. This is a result of the decimation of the numbers of station staff, 838 jobs are planned to go. This is despite a record number of passengers being carried through our stations and on our trains. Already, assaults on staff are up, so is crime on the tube and sexual assaults on female passengers. With all night working, engineering hours will be cut and this will potentially affect the safe running of the tube, unless adequate resources are provided to intensify safety checks during the week. If we were to sell our agreements out for a pot of gold we would be condemning our staff to working practices that would strain every sinew of their body and suck out their lifeblood.

We want a safe, fully staffed, fully publicly owned (with all outsourced work being brought in-house) affordable service. We also believe the wages and conditions of our members should be protected. These hard won conditions should be the norm for workers in all industries and in the public sector. The MP's have accepted a 10% pay increase; the richest 1,000 have seen their obscene levels of wealth double in the last 4 years.

RMT has demanded that no member be required to work more nights and weekends than now while any member who volunteers to work additional nights and weekends should be given additional time off to compensate. As LU linked these talks to pay we are also demanding an inflation proof pay rise with an additional increase in return for renegotiating agreements that would facilitate Night Tube.
Talks to try and resolve our dispute have been paralysed by a belligerent management who repeat, like a mantra, that they have no more money available. Of course, they can always call on additional funds to pay out massive contracts to the private sector. While 838 job cuts and casualised working arrangements is claimed to save £50m on stations, LU thought nothing of paying out £80m for preparatory work on a signalling system that had to be abandoned.

Our dispute is an industrial dispute with our employer. But there is, of course, a political element as our employer is ultimately the government. The attacks on our conditions are politically inspired by austerity measures that aim to cut £4.2 billion off of our Transport for London’s budget. They also want to shackle our unions by making it harder to take strike action. We will resist this on London Underground. We have already built joint action with all of the Unions on the London Underground, we are also appealing to Bus Workers in London to tie in their struggle with us.

We will fight for as long as it takes, and take whatever action is necessary to defend our members terms, conditions and pay.

UNITED WE ARE STRONG, UNITED WE CAN WIN
John Reid

Footnote
I donated a day's wage to the LTRC covering the strike day and I will donate a day’s pay for subsequent all grades strikes.