Tube pickets call for a general strike to bring down the Tories

RMT station staff strikers on the picket line at Arnos Grove Tube station yesterday morning

‘I HOPE this action is the beginning of a wider movement of the working class standing together in solidarity and working towards a general strike against this tyrannical government,’ said striking Tube worker and RMT member Robert Jones.

He was speaking on the picket line outside Arnos Grove Station in north London yesterday morning as the RMT’s 4,000 striking station and revenue control staff shut down London Underground in a massive show of strength to oppose pension attacks and job cuts.

Trains remained in depots across the network and RMT members reported huge attendances at picket lines despite heavy rain across the capital.

600 station staff jobs will be lost if TfL (Transport for London) plans go through and RMT members face huge detrimental changes to their pensions and working conditions.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: ‘I congratulate our station grade and revenue control staff members on London Underground for taking strike action in defence of their pensions and jobs.’

Speaking on the picket line at Brixton Station in South London, South West London RMT Industrial rep Paul Murphy spoke enthusiastically about yesterday’s strike and called for the TUC’s 18th June march on parliament to become the beginning of a general strike to bring the Tories down.

Murphy told News Line: ‘There are 600 job cuts on the whole of the Underground.

‘These changes, or attacks, to call them by the right name, on our terms and conditions will obviously make working on the Underground worse, for employees and passengers alike.

‘I will be on the TUC march on 18th April. It is the right thing for the trades unions to call it. We need a big turnout and mass participation from all unions and all workers and the communities. We need to start building up with coordinated action for a General Strike.’

At Greenford Station in West London, RMT member Mark Simon told News Line: ‘They want to slash our pensions. They know our pension pot is in a really good place and they want part of it. But it’s my pension, it’s what I have for my old age. I don’t own my house.

‘I’ve paid into my pension for 23 years and it belongs to me. They can’t be allowed to move the goalposts and pick my pocket, no way!’

At Shepherd’s Bush station in west London, superviser Kieran said: ‘Management are trying to tear up our work agreements regarding station cover for the future. At present I can cover any station up to Marble Arch, but in the future they could ask me to cover as far away as Epping Forest.’

At Notting Hill Gate Station, picket supervisor Danny, said: ‘We’ve had a lot of good support from the public today. We want a fully funded Tube network. A managed decline is underway and it is not acceptable to us.’