Latest: LUL Walk Away from Jobs Talks

LUL Management refused to agree consultation arrangements today over their plans for 1,000 job cuts. The top level Company Council meeting was called to discuss massive reductions in white collar jobs, including ex-Metronet staff.

The trouble started when Management refused outright to continue discussing procedure for consultations. Management tried to impose their own ‘terms of reference’ for the talks and even their own numbers of reps from different unions.

They wanted to steamroller on to presenting their plans for job cuts, without agreeing how talks would work. They even refused to discuss how the health and safety impact of the job cuts would be reviewed, without agreeing to arrangement for health and safety review of the job cuts.

The truth is of course that decisions had already been made and LUL wanted to simultaneously tell staff what they had planned and be able to claim that ‘consultations’ with the unions had taken place. It is “nothing but blatant cynicism” according to RMT Executive Member Olly New. “We are willing to talk, but not to engage in a sham.” Regional Organiser Steve Hedley added “Management want to write their own book of rules and flout both Health and Safety and negotiated agreements.”

The RMT and Unite delegates informed LUL that they were available to continue the meeting, but would not start to discuss jobs without agreeing how talks would work. One of the other rail unions remained with Management and another had not even been invited to the meeting!

Despite Management’s claim that they wanted to avoid compulsory redundancies there was no firm commitment to this from LUL. Management would not even admit that the ex-Metronet staff are fully covered by the ‘jobs for life’ deal, negotiated by the RMT at the time of the PPP.

Although there are 1000 job cuts being proposed for now, further cuts may be in the pipeline, seriously impacting on safety and services. And this took place on the same day that Gordon Brown announced the ‘creation’ of 1000 jobs. You couldn’t make it up.

The boss of Metronet, which was a total failure, was given a bonus of half a million pounds and other TfL bosses have got massive bonuses. It seems there is money for these people, not to mention the bankers, but only cuts for an essential service like London Transport.

The RMT is currently collating information on the job cuts and have left Management in no doubt that we will resist redundancies. A noisy protest took place in the early morning outside 55 Broadway, covered by TV and media and the union is drawing up further plans.