RMT Defends Jobs On London Underground

RMT head office circular No. IR/48/09, issued today

RMT is deeply concerned at LUL’s announcement that they intend to get rid of 970 jobs. They are claiming that these cuts will not impact on the service and that these positions are all backroom jobs.

In reality this proposal is not only a threat to jobs but to safety and services. It is driven by cost cutting. If it is the case that LUL’s problem is one of funding then they should be seeking more money from government rather than seek to put their own employees on the dole. If money can be found to subsidise banks and financial businesses to the tune of billions of pounds, then it can be found to subsidise London’s railway infrastructure and services.

We all know that over the years staffing levels have been cut to the bone thanks to initiatives such as the Company Plan and Staffing of Stations. If it was true that LUL and LUL Metronet were carrying 1000 non-productive jobs then what does that says for senior management?

RMT representatives have insisted that any consultations must include a safety assessment on the impact of any job cuts, particularly when large numbers of engineering and safety jobs are threatened.

LUL held discussions with the unions last week while at the same time giving the same information to our members. RMT made it quite clear that we could not accept that this constituted “meaningful consultations” which the employers are obliged by law to conduct. Only since then have circulars to staff started to mention that the process is “subject to consultation”.

Management are giving mixed messages with regard to the Annexe H Agreement, often called the ‘jobs for life’ agreement. As far as we are concerned there can be no doubt that this agreement continues to apply to both ex-Metronet staff and to all LUL staff. This agreement was negotiated and fought for by the RMT and we insist that it continues to apply when staff came over to LUL.

Management say the agreement does apply but are also suggesting that they might want to get rid of it. Obviously there is no way we can agree to this. They further claim that their aim is “only” voluntary redundancies - but will not give our representatives an assurance that this will be the case!

They have also attempted to carry out talks with RMT without agreeing to a terms of reference which is clearly unacceptable. We continue to insist on a proper process. Members should also be aware that RMT has never signed up to or agreed with LUL’s Organisational Change Process (OCP).

All members are advised to query management decisions to place them into categories for re-structuring and to appeal every decision which they do not agree with. They should take advice from their Representatives or Branch Secretary.

Yours Sincerely

Bob Crow General Secretary