23 September 2014
From the RMT
TUBE UNION RMT today confirmed the next phase of industrial action on London Underground in the on-going fight to halt the cuts to jobs and services across the network currently being bulldozed through by Mayor Boris Johnson and his officials. The action, short of a strike, will kick in this week as follows:
With effect from 00.01 hours on Wednesday 24th September 2014, until further notice, Station Grades Members, Revenue Protection and Duty Station Manager Grades Members are instructed not to work any overtime.
The decision to move back into industrial action across the tube network has been forced on the union by the actions of management. Despite months of discussions between RMT and London Underground it has become clear that management are hell-bent on carrying out a programme of major job cuts, hitting thousands of RMT members with the prospect of downgrading with a resulting loss of salary and closing every ticket office by the end of 2015.
An overtime ban along with other forms of industrial action was scheduled to take place earlier this month. However, with the company threatening to use the anti-union laws, and to allow for further discussions with RMT representatives, this action was suspended.
Since then, the union has learnt of the resignation of LU’s chief operating officer Phil Hufton, who was the architect of the Fit for the Future project, leaving the entire programme in disarray. But far from signalling an end to the RMT fight, with management clearly intent on cutting jobs and closing ticket offices, the union has called for further action to force the plans back and has also made it clear that it is prepared to escalate back up to a new phase of strike action if required.
RMT Acting General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“This next phase of action has been called for the clear and simple reason that London Underground has failed to engage in serious discussions over cash-led cuts to jobs, services and safety. In fact, as a Freedom of Information request by members of the GLA has revealed, the cuts are being bulldozed through without any mandate and in total ignorance of the public consultation being carried out by London Travel Watch. RMT is also aware that the staffing cuts figures supplied under the FOI massage and understate the true scale of job cuts. That is simply outrageous.
“It remains the case that many underground locations will be left without sufficient staff to safely and effectively run stations. For example Ladbroke Grove Cover Group will have its staffing level halved. All local stations will be lone worked through both peaks and even the busiest gateway stations will see cuts, despite an LUL commitment they will get more staff.
“In terms of ticket offices, the union has serious concerns over the company’s reliance on unproven, unreliable technology to replace them. Despite setting out these fundamental flaws, LUL refuse even to discuss their contingency plans should any aspect of their plans not unfold as intended proving that they are quite happy to take a reckless gamble regardless of the consequences. With the architect of these plans, Phil Hufton, now jumping ship the managerial chaos at the heart of LU has ratcheted up several notches, reinforcing the case for the cuts to be halted.
“RMT has repeatedly demanded meaningful talks with London Underground but the past five months has proved that that demand is falling on deaf ears. The union even suspended action to allow those talks to happen but the management have made no movement and are crashing ahead with their cuts regardless and as a result we are now into a new phase of industrial action and our members remain united and determined as we move the union campaign forwards.”