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The RMT transport workers' union has announced strike action on the tube in London over the imposition of "impossible and unreasonable demands on staff" ahead of the reopening of 'night tube'.
The union says that London Underground refused point blank to consider the issues at the heart of the dispute, and that it has become clear the drive from tube bosses is all about cutting costs, regardless of the impact on staff and the services they operate.
As a result, all train operator and instructor operators working on night-tube lines (Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria) have been instructed not to book on for any duty commencing between 4.30am on Friday 26 November and 4:29am on Saturday 27 November.
Further, all train operator and instructor operators working on the Central and Victoria lines are instructed not to book on for any duty commencing between 8.30pm and 4.29am on 27-28 November, 3-4 December, 4-5 December, 10-11 December, 11-12 December and 17-18 December.
All train operator and instructor operators working on night-tube lines (Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria) are also instructed not to book on for any duty commencing from 4.30am on 18 December to 4.29am on 19 December.
On Transport for London (TfL) all tube workers are facing a concerted drive to attack their pensions and conditions. After 30 years of shift work a tube worker can expect to retire on less than half their salary. Typically, this means a pension of around £16,000.
TfL is also demanding more flexible working. As if working shifts around the clock over a seven-day working week isn't enough! Tube bosses want to own staff 24/7. They want to demand changes to shift times and rest days whenever they demand it.
Therefore the RMT has also agreed to conduct a ballot of all TfL and London Underground members over pensions, jobs and working practices (so called framework agreements). The RMT ballots and strike action should act as a beacon to others. The trade union movement must refuse to allow the bosses to use Covid to force down wages, place unreasonable demands on workers and demand a casualised workforce.
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Article dated 24 November 2021
The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party
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