AROUND 10,000 London Underground workers will be going on strike early next month. They are protesting against plans by Transport for London to cut 800 jobs.
Now up to 200 workers at Alstom-Metro depots on the Jubilee and Northern lines will join them. They are walking out over are protesting over pay and conditions.
Alstom-Metro have offered “a fair and reasonable offer” of a 2% pay increase. Workers regard it as a measly offer – and say that it’s worth less than half of those won by other Tube workers this year.
Alstom is a major trans-national company. Chaired by Patrick Kron, it describes itself as “a world leader in transport and energy infrastructure.” It employs over 96,000 people in 70 countries.
Despite the recent economic downturn Alstom has done well for itself. It boasts that it has put in an “excellent operational performance in a difficult economic environment” and that it has enjoyed record “sales and income from operations.”
Indeed, Alstom’s Annual Results Fiscal Year 2009/10 revealed that sales were up to 19.7 Billion Euros (+ 5%), income from operations was up to 1.8 Billion Euros (+ 16%) and that it enjoyed a 10% increase in net profit to 1.2 Billion Euros.
(Alstom has also purchased a 25% stake in Transmashholding – TMH - in Russia. Transmashholding is the largest manufacturer of locomotives and rail equipment in Russia, with annual sales of US$3.2 billion.)
We understand the point Alstom’s London-based workers are trying to make with their strike action. With the company doing so well – and seemingly swimming in money – one would think that they’d be in a position to offer a little more than a 2% wage increase. We’re sure that the company’s shareholders are getting slightly more than this!