Defending jobs, pensions and agreements - ACAS report

I today met with senior LUL management under ACAS along with 9 senior representatives from every function on LUL representing over 10K  members.

LUL called this meeting despite us writing to the Mayor of London 13th January demanding talks at his level to discuss the planned attacks on our members which resulted in a magnificent yes vote for industrial action.

LUL asked for clarification on the reasons for strikes planned for 1st and 3rd March and said they wanted to listen to what was required to get the strikes cancelled in the spirit of working together to resolve the issues.

I clearly explained that we did not want to take this action and that we were appalled that after nearly 2 years of working closely with LUL to deliver an essential service to the capital city, which meant changing a number of our agreements and working arrangements to do this, our members were now facing attacks on an unprecedented scale. This is mainly due to the financial incompetence at the very highest level of TfL including the Mayors Office. It was  explained that due to this incompetence we were now facing an immediate attack on our final salary pension scheme.  Other savings planned of around £500m per year were being mapped out mainly through other attacks on jobs, agreements and working practices.

Therefore in order to get these strikes cancelled on behalf of all our members in dispute I made the following demands.

Pensions – there must be absolutely no changes whatsoever to our final salary pension scheme which is in effect deferred wages for you and you family to support you in older age.

Headcount – there must be no reduction in positions on LUL which amount to jobs that you and new starters need to enable a decent standard of living and to enable the pension fund to remain healthy.

No changes to agreements – our agreements form part of our terms and conditions and have been built up over many years and we demanded that there are no changes to them made to the detriment of our members.

Management took an adjournment and made the following response to our demands.

LUL made no meaningful response to our demands but tried to pretend that the only planned attacks were on stations members’ jobs. This is a classic divide and rule tactic and I responded that this is not acceptable and LUL made no denials that they are planning these attacks so now is the time to stick together and fight off these attacks as an all-grades union right now.

Instead today LUL ruled nothing out and said that the savings they have to make are conditional on the funding deal they have done with the government. Therefore, I have to report to you that the talks today have not been successful,  and all strike action remains on.

 We remain available for talks.

John Leach

RMT Regional Organiser.