10/09/2010 - Will Boris Sit Down?

TOWARDS the end of August, Solidarity reported that around 10,000 workers on the London Underground would be going on strike in a desperate attempt to save jobs. 



They were unhappy about plans by Transport for London (TfL) – which is run by the mayor’s office – to axe 800 posts at London Underground stations and ticket offices.  (Since then, it’s been announced that another 500 Tube Line jobs are now being axed).




The two main unions involved (the RMT - the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers – and TSSA - Transport Salaried Staffs' Association) claimed that these cuts will compromise operational and passenger safety on the network.


Solidarity Trade Union supported this proposed strike action.  We too feared that the cuts would undermine the safety and service for the travelling public.  At the time we noted that the “London Underground is an integral part of Britain’s transport system – and should be seen as a vital public service.”




Since last month’s report, the first of a series of 24-hour rolling strikes has taken place.  This involved a walk out at 5pm on 6 September, when maintenance workers staged a walkout, followed at 9pm by drivers, station staff and signalers.   It proved to be a resounding success, with rock solid support.  (An indefinite overtime ban is also now in place).



The next strike is strike action will again begin at 5pm on 3 October.  This will involve ex-Metronet maintenance staff.  At 9pm all other staff - including drivers, signallers, station staff and managers – will walk out.

However, there is still time to avert this action.  ACAS peace talks are scheduled for this Wednesday.  The big question is, will London Mayor Boris Johnson sit down with the unions and work out a way ahead?