Minutes: Emergency Regional Council meeting, 29 June 2010


  • Bakerloo branch – Sean Geoghegan
  • Camden No.3 branch – John Reid, Tony Gandolfi, Becky Crocker, Joanna Prestwich
  • Central Line West branch – Vaughan Thomas (meeting chair)
  • DLR – Darren Arnold
  • East Ham – Claire Reilly, Gary Lazell, Unjum Mirza, Andy Izard
  • Finsbury Park branch – Dean O’Hanlon, Dave Rayfield, Frank Curtis, John Kelly, G Doyle
  • Hammersmith & City branch – Mac McKenna
  • Jubilee South & East London Line branch –
  • London Taxis branch –
  • LU Engineering branch – Paul O'Brien, Lewis Peacock, Paul Jackson
  • LU Fleet branch –
  • Morden & Oval branch – Paul Geer
  • Neasden branch –
  • Piccadilly & District West branch –
  • Retired Members branch –
  • Stratford No.1 branch – Adrian Finney, Janine Booth (meeting secretary)
  • TfL No.1 branch – Carol Foster, Roy Carey
  • Thames Riverboats branch –
  • In attendance – Steve Hedley (Regional Organiser), Olly New (Council of Executives member)


Olly New reported on:

  • Tube Lines dispute:
    • injunction not granted, but hearing to take place
    • excellent support by Tube Lines workers for strike
    • LU managers lying re safety
    • letter from Tube Lines - all offers withdrawn, advising us to talk to Gerry Duffy
  • DLR dispute
    • strike suspended to put new offer to members in referendum
  • London Underground job cuts dispute
    • initial balloting period was too short -> will now be extended
    • we need a big Yes vote
    • we also need a continuing political campaign
    • the Budget and public services cuts reduce members' social wage
  • White City dispute re sacking
  • upcoming demonstrations on 29 September and 30 October

Steve Hedley reported on:

  • legal threats from London Underground re 'inducement to unofficial action' during Tube Lines dispute
  • LU ballot: has been a long time coming
  • cleaners: London Living Wage victory
  • National Shop Stewards Network Conference

Initial points made in discussion:

  • as Boris Johnson has finally kept one promise (London Living Wage), we should demand he keeps his others (eg. no cuts to frontline staffing!)
  • current political situation
  • extending ballot period = right decision in the circumstances; need time to catch up because delay in starting ballot has cost momentum


Darren Arnold (DLR branch secretary) reported:

  • strike dates co-ordinated with Tube Lines - sorry couldn't go ahead
  • suspending the strike was the right thing to do in the circumstances
  • new branch secretary, chair and reps elected this year
  • was told that 3-car was the weakest issue RMT had ever balloted on
  • thanks to Brian Whitehead for advice and for negotiating at ACAS
  • offer to be taken to hte members in a referendum; closes 12 July, expect members to reject

Points made in discussion:

  • DLR branch meeting was well-attended and lively
  • 3-car is not a weak issue but a strong one
  • members may well reject offer that Executive has recommended
  • what happened to proposal for an all-grades ballot? reply: was advised that there were lots of obstacles to it
  • clarification: is there a £600 offer or not? reply: yes, but with strings, not on the issue we went into dispute about
  • report from RO and branch secretary to the CofE was: £600 on offer; suspend the strike; keep the ballot mandate; employer has agreed 28-day extension to mandate; should recommend acceptance in referendum
  • DLR members have been led up the garden path


Paul O'Brien (Tube Lines rep) reported:

  • all solid, including ERU
  • effect on service
  • how management 'covered' ERU
  • police called to picket lines five times
  • use of agency staff to 'cover' signals
  • 535+ jobs under threat
  • threat to withdraw pay offer - but we'd rejected it anyway!
  • want to escalate with action short as well as strikes
  • thanks to LU members for support

Points made in discussion:

  • Tube Lines claim 100+ reports of picket line intimidation!
  • refusal to work by Arnos Grove drivers - elsewhere too, but patchy
  • head office failure to carry out AGM mandate and produce 'know your rights' guide on refusal to work on safety ground (disagreement as to significance of this)
  • need to build confidence and spread news of non-disciplining of Arnos Grove drivers
  • great strike; excellent level of organisation

  • A TSSA rep made a contribution. A delegate pointed out that guests should be notified in advance and their presence brought to the attention of the meeting at the start. The President confirmed this.


    Janine Booth (Regional Council Secretary / stations rep) reported:

    • new leaflets produced - please distribute
    • stations functional council organising station visits along with local reps - other grades/functions, please do so too
    • advised by head office that title of ballot is 'London Underground job cuts', so not just about station staff
    • view on strategy:
      • could be lengthy dispute: need serious strategy not token protests
      • when union names first strike date, should name second strike date too
      • should seriously consider providing strike hardship payments
      • should use 'action short' creatively

    Points made in discussion:

    • Is TSSA balloting? reply: yes, but a little behind us
    • should picket stations and try to close them
    • should try to close down network
    • issue is not just about stations job cuts; but station grades must be solid in order to bring in support of other grades
    • there are signs of weakness; there has not been a campaign in the workplace over the last few months; SOS campaign is not good enough, is more like a student union campaign
    • Steve Hedley responded to above point, disagreeing: SOS campaign has been excellent, lots of rank-and-file reps have worked hard on it; has boosted feeling in workplace; does not deserve this criticism here

    Reply (Janine): proposed that existing campaign committee becomes strike committee and has 3 members each from engineering and fleet and one from trains added to it to give better cross-grades balance. Discussion followed. Confirmed that all meetings of the committee are open, and the purpose of the list of members is to encourage those branches/grades to ensure that they are represented. Agreed.


    • Vaughan Thomas (Regional Council President / White City rep) reported on White City ballot re sacking.
    • Gary Lazell (East Ham group rep) reported on request for ballot re rostered staff being forced to work on other stations.


    • Lewis Peacock - joint health & safety machinery
    • Andy Izard - East Ham recruitment & organising day, Thursday
    • Janine Booth - please discuss at your next branch meeting what members think the next pay claim should be.