As we enter a hot autumn on the London Underground, Unjum Mirza reports on an important step from the RMT's engineers
Last Thursday (27 August) the RMT's London Regional Council debated and voted unanimously to support a motion from our Engineering branch - Bob Crow's branch - about the crisis we face and the strategic way forward for us all.
Our Engineers were in the vanguard in dismantling the disastrous PPP on London Underground. Alongside Aslef, the Train drivers' union who are balloting for strike action as we speak, our engineers have again taken the lead in broadening the fight against the inevitable attacks we face on our jobs, terms and conditions and safety.
It's important RMT have entered the fray.
A meeting for all RMT members has been organised for 7 September.
As RMT state
"since 2013 £7bn of cuts have been imposed onto TFL and the tube by central government and the London Mayor... The Covid 19 pandemic has brought TfL funding to a crisis point even before we had expected".
No matter where you work, engineering, fleet, stations or trains - this is a fight for us all. Buckle up, it's gonna be a bumpy ride!
The engineers’ motion reads:
LU Engineering Branch and the London Transport Regional Council note the disastrous effect of the Coronavirus pandemic on the tube due in large part to the unpreparedness of the British Government, DfT, TfL and London Underground.
Apart from the threat to the lives of transport workers and passengers, the company's collective ineptness has plunged London Underground into deep financial crisis leading to the London Mayor and his TfL Team negotiating an operational loan from the Government with such derisory terms that any negotiator worth their salt would be totally ashamed of themselves.
Among the Governments terms for the loan; the notorious auditing consultants and hatchetmen KPMG are now reviewing the finances of London Underground under instruction to finalise their report and recommendations by the end of August - this month.
This branch and regional council call on the RMT NEC to instruct the General Secretary to write to London Underground without any delay demanding:
* An unambiguous written confirmation within 14 days that the company will abide by the health & safety principles contained in the RMT London Underground Covid-19 Charter.
* An unambiguous written confirmation within 14 days that the company will not make any changes to members terms and conditions of employment, Framework Agreements or any other agreements negotiated at any level of the LU Machinery of Negotiation and Consultation or the LU Health and Safety Machinery without the express agreement of this union.
The NEC is to Instruct the General Secretary that if no adequate replies are received from London Underground within the allotted 14 days; the General Secretary is to inform the company that a dispute exists between this union and London Underground, and without any delay to commence a ballot of all members on London Underground for strike action and if deemed appropriate upon consultation with LU branches a ballot for industrial action short of a strike.
Unjum Mirza is an an editor of Tunnel Vision, the Rail Workers' Rank and File bulletin
Before you go...
Counterfire is expanding fast as a website and an organisation. We are trying to organise a dynamic extra-parliamentary left in every part of the country to help build resistance to the government and their billionaire backers. If you like what you have read and you want to help, please join us or just get in touch by emailing [email protected] Now is the time!
Unjum Mirza is a driver on the London Underground. He is on the Editorial Board of Tunnel Vision, the rank and file bulletin, and is an Aslef union branch chair.
More articles from this author
- Strike days: let's go onto the offensive
- Workers’ fightback resumes in a divided country
- Save our buses: Unite protests against Tory cuts to London transport
- Tory transport austerity and the mass resistance we need
- We need to win: how the strikes can break the Tories
- How to turn a strike wave into a tsunami
- The next round of rail strikes: time to tear the Tories apart