Union action wins concessions on Bakerloo Line South Group

The threat of strikes has secured significant concessions from London Underground management on the Bakerloo Line South Group.

The company has made an explicit commitment to scrap its previous policy of designating certain duties less important to cover, and shift to a policy of instructing managers to “make every effort” to cover all duties as a default.

Bosses have also committed to launch a review of the baseline staffing level, via which RMT reps will be making proposals for additional jobs.

The aim of strikes is to win concessions. These were the immediate demands RMT posed when we launched our dispute over short staffing; having been secured, we’re able to suspend a planned strike on 26 December.

RMT members, and particularly the local reps who have led the dispute thus far and who ran an enthusiastic and effective campaign to get the vote out in our strike ballot, should feel positive and empowered about our progress thus far.

But, this is only the first stage. What we’ve secured is a commitment; now it’s time to see if management keep to their word and ensure duties are covered. If they don’t, we have a second strike planned for 14 January which will go ahead if there’s any backsliding. And our ballot mandate is live for six months, meaning we can call action at any time, at two weeks’ notice, should we feel management are breaching the agreement.

If you’re a fan of a football metaphor, it’s 1-0 to the workers at half time, with the second half set to continue for some time!

Along with the significant victories secured at Baker Street, RMT station staff are ending 2018 by showing that, when we take a stand, make demands, and show that we’re prepared to withdraw our labour if necessary, we can make gains.

Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and here’s to ongoing struggles and more victories in 2019!

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