The Rail, Maritime and Transport workers’ union (RMT) are taking strike action from the evening of Tuesday 28 to Thurday 1 May and have another 48 hour strike planned for next week.
Oliver New, RMT President and long time RMT activist has written a short explanation of the action :
“London Underground workers are taking strike action against de-staffing of tube stations. These cuts of 950 jobs would undermine safety; reduce services and cut jobs and wages.
In February, RMT called off the strikes after Management promised a station by station review of all ticket office closures and job cuts. But the review didn’t happen; only 5 stations were considered and Management are still insisting that all the cuts go ahead. In other words they lied. Worse still, management have admitted they plan to get rid of hundreds more front line jobs and increase managers by the same amount. More managers – just what the public don’t need!
Expect the media to repeat management lies and insult, patronise and demonise RMT and its members.
All RMT members who work on the Underground will be taking strike action to fight for properly staffed stations. They will be losing money even though most of them, including engineers, train drivers and white collar staff are not directly affected. Even for station staff there would be no compulsory redundancies and a large measure of protection of earnings. So the fight is in large part to defend properly run Underground system. But nevertheless RMT members will be called selfish, by members of the media who don’t seem to comprehend that people can fight for principles. Some of them wouldn’t know a principle you shoved it up their nose. All they seem to understand is self interest, and they assume or pretend that’s all other people can think of.
Nor will the media admit that unions are democratic, instead they claim that the strikes are somehow ‘ordered’.
These cuts would mean no ticket offices on any station and times some stations would inevitably be left unstaffed, whatever Management pretends.
The Management claim that “only 3% of journeys start from a ticket office” is simply a fantasy – it has no basis in reality. Without proper staffing levels, most journeys should be ok. Unless, of course something goes wrong, when there are huge potential safety issues. Or if someone needs assistance because they have a disability, or need help, or don’t understand they system, or their Oyster doesn’t work, or they forgot to touch in our out, or any number of other issues.
To the surprise of many, most Londoners supported the last strike in February. The media will try to turn that round this time. Predictably, the Tories threaten to ban strikes while Labour just hide their heads in the sand.
Meanwhile, RMT members on Heathrow Express are also fighting against job and pay cuts and will also be taking strike action on 29th and 30th April and picketing outside Paddington station.”