Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 12 February 2014

Tube strike first round: Trade Unions 1 - Johnson 0

Kings Cross, 5.2.13, photo Helen Pattison

Kings Cross, 5.2.13, photo Helen Pattison   (Click to enlarge)

Paula Mitchell

As we go to press a second planned 48-hour London tube strike has been called off. The RMT and TSSA rail unions suspended their industrial action after London Underground (LU) bosses have been forced to partially retreat.

Until today London Underground bosses and Tory Mayor Boris Johnson have been utterly intransigent, refusing to desist from imposing their cuts so that meaningful talks could take place.

Now, as a result of determined strike action by RMT and TSSA, all aspects of the plan - which would mean the closure of all LU ticket offices and the loss of 1,000 jobs - are suspended for eight weeks.

The tube strike provided an important lesson for workers everywhere - the organised working class has power - and is popular!

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "After two days of intensive and detailed discussions through the offices of Acas we have now received proposals that halt the implementation of the job cuts which gives us the opportunity to discuss all of the issues away from the pressure cooker.

"We now have a golden opportunity to look again in detail at all of the concerns we have raised about the impact of the cuts on our members and the services that they provide to Londoners. That is exactly what we have been calling for throughout this dispute."

He said that the "RMT is happy to discuss any issues with LU through the machinery of negotiation" but correctly warned that strike action would be back on if there was "any further attempt to impose change from above".

Before the first 48-hour strike London Underground management boasted that they had volunteer 'ambassadors' lined up to break the strike and that a good level of service would run. This meant lots of people started out on a journey that rapidly became impossible.

The scene at Stratford, where 1,000 people stood in the rain outside a shut station, was replicated across London.

Everyone in London is affected by a tube strike. If the tube doesn't run, the trains, buses and taxis are packed, queues stream along the pavements and spill out into the roads.

Traffic in central London was at a standstill and pavements were crammed with people undertaking long walks. On this occasion this was all happening in very cold wind and rain.

Inevitably any dispute like this will be polarising, and London's transport system does carry some high-paid City types who are firmly on the bosses' side no matter what. But abuse was rare; it was much more common for people to approach the pickets to say "I completely support you" and even to bring donuts!

The reality is we're all under the cosh, whether that's from job cuts, pay cuts, benefit cuts, service closures, food and energy bills - and we're all watching the bankers get their whopping bonuses and the rich getting richer.

University workers, teachers, fire fighters, probation officers and civil servants have all taken strike action. Seeing this strike many of them will have thought: "This is what we all need!"

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 12 February 2014:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Floods misery: Government cuts to blame

What future for Labour and the unions?

Fast food workers want decent pay and conditions

NHS: Kick out big Pharma

Them & Us

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Sheffield kicks off election year with 7.6% vote

Standing up against cuts in Reading

Waltham Forest: Rally for rent control

Lewisham Labour no use in the Lions' Den

London Underground dispute

Tube strike first round: Trade Unions 1 - Johnson 0

London tube stoppages show workers can win

Effective action builds

State attacks trade union action

Socialist Party workplace news

Teachers call national strike

Posties vote yes - where now for postal workers?

Higher Education: Striking for an improved pay offer

Workplace news in brief

Reviews and readers' comments

The Square: bravery and disappointment in Egypt

Housing crisis hell: a worker's view

Don't trust Labour with our NHS

2004 Morecambe Bay tragedy: Has anything changed?

Tebay disaster: Workers' grievances can't be sidelined

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Councils continue making Con-Dem cuts

Brighton solidarity with LGBTQ+ Russians

Leicester Socialist Student arrested in peaceful protest

WASP: South African elections announced

Building the Socialist Party


Home   |   The Socialist 12 February 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:

London underground:

triangleFantastic RMT London Underground victory

triangleThem & Us

triangleTube strike solid against victimisation

triangleTube workers walk out

triangleRMT members reject Labour affiliation calls at London debate


triangleDundee: young workers meet

triangleDurham Miners' Gala

triangleUnions and campaigners discuss fight to end education crisis

triangleSchools unions must turn anger into a fight against funding catastrophe

Trade unions:

triangleSocialist Party members make big impact at trades council conference

triangleStrike together to kick out the Tories!


trianglePro-democracy protests continue to rage

triangleBradford: All-out action to defeat backdoor NHS privatisation


triangleFar right seen off at Oxford Circus


triangleHereford and Worcester: stop the fire cuts!


triangleNSSN conference 2019: at the heart of trade union struggle


triangleRMT wins important tube jobs and grading victory

Boris Johnson:

triangleTory bribes don't hide destruction of NHS

Bob Crow:

triangleReclaim the Game book launch

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Anger continues to mount over imposition of direct rule



Health workers strike against 2,000 loss of pay



Leeds estate residents push back private development


Socialist Party Scotland

Dundee: young workers meet



Hereford and Worcester: stop the fire cuts!


Far right

Far right seen off at Oxford Circus



Harland and Wolff occupation continues - renationalise to save the shipyard



Bradford: All-out action to defeat backdoor NHS privatisation



Summer of airline industry strikes against low pay and worsening conditions



After the fire: fight for facilities for all



Fight back against the retail bosses!



Equity: reject UK Theatre's pay cut deal



Hull: Karro Food meat processors strike against poverty pay



Lobby the TUC for workers' action to defeat Johnson


Northern Ireland

Harland and Wolff shipyard workers enter occupation

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019