Mass Meeting Launches Fight for Jobs, Pay and Justice

It was standing room only as nearly 150 workers packed into a meeting yesterday evening to launch RMT's fight for jobs, pay and justice for London Underground and Transport for London staff.

Regional Organiser Steve Hedley outlined the issues behind the dispute - our employers' attempts to slash jobs, cut our pay in real terms and bully workers. He insisted that we need to protect ourselves from the economic recession rather than being cowed by it.
In case anyone thought that they should not fight job cuts that did not affect their particular grade, Steve asked rhetorically what you would do if the row of houses you live on cuaght fire. Would you wait until the fire reached your house before you did anything? No, of course you would not - you would join with your neighbours in fighting the fire!
Steve emphasised the need for everyone to work hard to ensure a strong 'Yes' vote for action, and to convince and inspire all our workmates to be part of this fightback.

General Secretary Bob Crow had just come from Willesden Green group of stations, who are already voting for strike action against local management's mistreatment of staff.
Acknowledging that fear is contagious, Bob argued that courage is also contagious and to loud cheers, urged everyone to fight back against the employers' attacks.

Executive member Olly New explained that bankers had got billions of pounds from the government by threatening to stop lending money, in other words by exerting economic pressure. He argued that we too should exert economic pressure - not in the way that the bankers have done, but in the way that workers do: taking industrial action.
Olly also explained that the choice facing London Underground and TfL workers is not between striking and carrying on as usual, but between striking and being beaten down by management's attacks.

Every contribution from workers at the meeting was positive about the need and willingness to take action. Contributions were also serious about the hard work that reps and activists need to do to prepare for the action, and to think carefully about what action we should take.

Having been preceeded by a strike committee meeting attended by over 30 people, this was a very positive launch to our fight to defend our jobs, our pay and our dignity.