Olympic Hopefuls

If you've seen the recent blockbuster film 2012 you'll know that it's shaping up to be one hell of a year. Los Angeles slides into the Pacific, a tidal wave swamps India and the Queen is forced to flee the country (ok it's not all bad news). The film's plot is clearly a fantasy, even if the Tories get in next year it probably won't be that bad. However, recently I came across another 2012 fantasy much closer to home. Talking to a fellow driver from our sister union Aslef about how he plans to vote in his union's up coming referendum, he explained to me what he thought his union's long term strategy was.

Rather than worry about his members getting a proper pay rise in 2009/2010 Keith Norman the Aslef General Secretary is going to put his feet up and wait for the Olympics to deliver the goods. Apparently the mere approach of the Olympic torch will have London Underground management showering us with money and offering us a 32 hour week with no strings attached. Just knuckle down for the next 2 years, try and make ends meet, keep your nose clean and wait for the good times to roll.

Now this isn't the first time I've heard the 2012 Olympics mentioned as our saviour by people in all the unions including RMT. With the eyes of the world on London LUL management will have to ensure that the Underground runs smoothly, so we'll have 'em over a barrel. This is absolute nonsense! If anyone thinks that the Olympic games in itself is going to deliver a double digit pay rise, a 32 hour week, an end to bullying and a limitless supply of chocolate Hobnobs while we sit on our arses and do nothing then they are living in cloud cuckoo land.

Every gain that has been made on this job has been won through collective action and when necessary taking strike action. This pay round has shown what the threat of strike action and actual strike action can achieve. Unfortunately, it was also shown that scabbing and cowardice from other unions can undermine our fight. If anyone suggests to you that we should accept this years' poultry pay offer and wait for the Olympics to arrive, ask them this. Will the scabs who crossed the picket lines in 2009 be any more willing to lose a days' pay in 2012 and will Keith Norman be any less of a management lacky? If you want gold in 2012 the training starts here.