Why RMT is Balloting for Industrial Action

From Steve Hedley, Regional Organiser

Dear brothers sisters and comrades

We are facing several attacks from the employers right now and we have had requests for strike ballots on no compulsory redundancies, pay, breaking of agreements and failure to carry out meaningful consultation. Having discussed the issues the Council of Executives has agreed that a ballot will be conducted on LUL and coordinated with a ballot on TfL.The issues for the LUL ballot are:

1. Pay. London Underground's derisory pay offer of February's RPI plus 1% this year and RPI only for the next four years is galvanising members towards taking industrial action. This is when the Bank of England are now carrying out 'quantitative easing' - in reality printing money - which could see inflation spiral in the summer.

2. The attempt by management to push through an organisational change policy which contains compulsory redundancies effectively abolishes our 'jobs for life' deal which applies to all London Underground staff and its subsidiaries like Metronet and Tubelines which were privatised. Having toured branches and depots, there is a real willingness to fight especially amongst former Metronet staff and the principle of fighting to keep our current guarantee is increasingly being taken on board by London Underground staff.

3. Management's breaking of their own disciplinary and attendance procedures and subsequent victimising of our members is appalling and causing great resentment on the ground.

Therefore the three issues on our main ballot are.

1. Pay

2. Guarantee of no compulsory redundancies

3. Management breach of attendance and disciplinary procedures

On the TfL ballot request, I believe we should ballot given that management will not tell us at Company Council level which jobs are to be cut in their “moving feast” of over £2.4 billion worth of cuts most within the next eighteen months. They haven’t even factored in the loss of revenue due to RPI dropping or the lost money from the abandonment of the western extension to the congestion charge zone. They have also failed to address our pay claim seriously and are not even putting a counter proposal. We should of course coordinate this ballot with the London Underground one.

The issues are therefore:

1. pay

2. no compulsory redundancies and a failure to carry out meaningful consultation.

Ballots have been arranged as soon as possible to avoid a management fait accompli in regards to the 'jobs for life' /1,000 redundancies on LUL /Metronet. I suggest the mid April is our last chance of taking action to save these jobs and avoid compulsory redundancies being foisted on us.

ALL reps must now hold workplace meetings and build a huge yes vote.