RMT to ballot LU fleet over breakdown in industrial relations

Tube union RMT said today that due to a complete breakdown in industrial relations for fleet grades on London Underground the union’s executive has decided to conduct a ballot of all LU fleet members for strike action and industrial action short of a strike.

The industrial relations breakdown has been caused by the fleet organisation’s management continuing a relentless attack on RMT members through a drive to bulldoze through changes to work practices and conditions of service that are clearly dangerous. Despite repeated attempts by RMT officials to secure a suspension to these actions to allow full negotiations the management side have continue to press ahead. It is that total disregard for procedure and agreements that has sparked the move to a ballot.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said

“ The managements attempt to bulldoze through unilateral changes to working practices, staffing levels and procedures is a clear attack on the Fleet Core Work Agreement and is completely unacceptable to RMT members.

“The union is disgusted by London Underground’s attacks on the jobs and working conditions of our fleet maintenance members. RMT firmly opposes the company’s plans to reduce maintenance frequencies, cut jobs and replace skilled staff with unreliable automated processes.

“The union also believes that these attacks endanger the safety of passengers and of Underground workers. Trains will be less safe and failures more frequent. It also follows like night follows day that a company that proposes that its trains be prepared for service automatically will then move on to proposing that they be driven automatically in line with the aims of the Mayor Boris Johnson.

“ RMT is now making urgent preparations for the ballot of members and remains available for meaningful talks addressing the full range of issues at the heart of this dispute.”

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