‘MONDAY’S action will be immense and there will be more of the same if London Underground (LU) continues its attacks,’ leading RMT officer Carlos Barros warned last Friday ahead of today’s 24-hour London-wide Tube station staff strike.
More than 4,000 station staff are on strike today against LU’s declaration of war on its more than 10,000 workers, as well as on the travelling public.
LU has declared its intention to impose an initial 600 job cuts, tear up negotiated working agreements and smash up the LU employees’ pension scheme.
Speaking on the Night Tube strike picket line at Central Line’s West Ruislip station on Friday evening, RMT Tier 2 Health and Safety Rep Barros continued: ‘Monday’s action will send a clear message to LU, the mayor and the government that we will not pay through job cuts or ripping up of terms and conditions for the lack of subsidy for running the system, which was cut during Boris Johnson’s time as London mayor.’
RMT Health and Safety Rep Duncan Capp said: ‘LU are trying to save a total of £508 million through cuts. They have saved £200m so far and have £308m left to cut. We had a 90% vote in favour of this action and that shows the strength of feeling.
‘Andy Lord, one of the LU directors, put a video out to all RMT members urging them not to vote. Not urging them to vote NO, but urging them not to take part in the democratic process. This guy should be dismissed and he’s in line for a share of a £12m bonus for making these cuts!’
Darren Lalli, RMT Industrial Rep at West Ruislip station, spoke about the crucial Night Tube strike, which has continued each weekend since last November.
Under the Thatcher anti-union laws strikes have to reballot after six months, and also pass a threshold of over 50% of members eligible to vote actually voting.
Lalli said: ‘We are waiting for the ballot result. Tuesday is the last day of the ballot and we expect the result that day or the next. We expect an overwhelming YES vote and we are very hopeful of reaching the 50% anti-union law threshold.
‘If we don’t we will be forced back in dangerous conditions, seriously harming our work-life balance.
‘Back in 2016 both ASLEF and the RMT agreed that full-time workers were never to do these Night Tube duties, because doing extreme different shifts in the same week is both dangerous and harmful to our work-life balance. Both unions took two days strike action on the issue to fight for this position.
‘Fast forward to the Covid pandemic during which LU stopped the Night Tube. But then, six months ago, LU reintroduced the Night Tube with the agreement of ASLEF senior reps and leaders, without consulting any of their members, which has now imposed these horrendous duties on the full-time rosta. RMT have been fighting this since November on the Central Line and Victoria Line and recently on the Jubilee Line.
‘Whatever happens with the ballot result the huge majority of drivers do not accept these shifts and will continue to fight.’