RMT to re-ballot 10,000 Tube and TfL workers over jobs, pay and breaches of agreements

RMT press release, issued today

THE TUBE’S biggest union is to re-ballot nearly 10,000 members across London Underground and Transport for London for strike action in separate disputes centred on jobs, pay and breaches of disciplinary and attendance agreements.

The re-run of the strike ballots follows a provocative legal challenge by LUL to ballots last month, which nonetheless showed a rock-solid five-to-one majority in favour of action.

Up to 3000 jobs are under threat across the Tube and TfL. RMT has given notice that it will re-ballot all its members at LUL, including former Metronet staff, as well as staff at TfL.

Balloting will begin on Thursday 14th May with voting closing on Thursday 28th May

There are three areas of dispute:

- On London Underground, bosses are threatening to tear up an agreement aimed at safeguarding jobs, and has refused to rule out compulsory redundancies. TfL is also threatening compulsory redundancies as part of a £2.4 billion cuts package.

- LUL has also refused to budge from an unacceptable five-year pay offer that gives no real-terms increase for four years, and which could even see pay cut, and there have been so many complaints of breaches of disciplinary and attendance procedures they appear co-ordinated. TfL has so far failed to table any pay offer at all.

- LUL management have been breaching the agreed disciplinary and attendance procedures and have encouraged aggressive and punitive behavior by local managers.

“Our members are furious that a democratic vote for action just a month ago was sabotaged by a shameful legal challenge aimed at undermining the internal democracy of our trade union. Tube bosses have wasted time and money on lawyers when they knew very well that RMT would never tolerate this attack on our members and our organisation. The re-ballot will give our members a chance to express the depth of their anger, ” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today.

“Despite the managements diversionary tactics it remains the case that after months of stonewalling LUL has tabled what is at best a five-year pay freeze which it knows full well is totally unacceptable to RMT and its members. LUL managers appear to have been given the nod to unleash a fresh round of bullying.

“LUL’s own ‘Valuing Time’ study acknowledges that our members’ productivity is at an all-time high, with passenger numbers up to record-breaking levels of four million a day.

“We said from the start that our members, whether in LUL or TfL, would not be made to pay for the failure and greed of bankers and privateers, and that any attempt to impose compulsory redundancies would be met with a ballot for industrial action. We’ve balloted once and now we’ll ballot again and if LUL and TfL want to avoid confrontation they should withdraw the threat to jobs, take the pay issue seriously and start treating staff with the respect that they deserve,” Bob Crow said.

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