Strike ballot underway across London Underground over casualisation and threat to jobs and conditions

Tube union RMT confirmed today that ballot papers have been despatched to London Underground member’s in a strike vote of all staff over LU’s use of agency staff and the casualisation and downgrading of existing jobs across the network.

RMT is certain that part of the hidden cuts package being drawn up in secret by LU chiefs includes a specific programme to extend and expand the use of casualised, agency staff into all possible areas of the tube network on a rolling basis.

The union has already been involved in one major dispute over the introduction of the Trainpeople agency, a company now aggressively promoting its services to both the Underground and train companies. RMT has made it clear in negotiations that it will strongly resist moves to casualise and downgrade existing jobs and conditions but no assurances have been offered by the company.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

“RMT is firmly opposed to the casualisation of jobs across the Underground network and we are appalled that tube bosses can give no guarantees that they will pull back from this policy which threatens all grades. Casualisation undermines jobs, working conditions and safety and creates disruption in the workplace purely in the name of private profit

“We have demanded that London Underground urgently stops the use of agency staff and offers permanent, direct employment to agency workers but as a result of the company’s failure to address our concerns and meet our demands, we have had no option but to declare a dispute and a ballot for strike action is now underway involving all London Underground members.

“Voting papers have been despatched with a closing date of Monday 2nd December 2013. RMT remains available for meaningful talks.”

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