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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 May 2019
Fantastic RMT London Underground victory
RMT members on strike, photo Paul Mattsson, photo Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
'Bill Johnson', London Underground RMT member
The RMT transport union has scored a fantastic victory in the fight against cuts on London Underground. Members of the Fleet maintenance branch recorded a marvellous ballot result that easily met the new anti-union thresholds and announced strike action over three days from 17-19 May.
In the face of this determined response, London Underground management caved in and withdrew their proposals to slash the frequency of train inspections on the tube.
At present all trains on the tube are inspected every 24 hours. These checks include essential safety equipment including brakes and doors. To the disbelief of maintenance staff, train drivers and all tube workers, London Underground proposed extending the time between checks to up to 96 days!
The proposals are typical of London Underground management's approach to cost cutting. Accept whatever ridiculous budget cuts the mayor and government demand and then make the rules up to fit the reduced budget. Safety and the efficiency of the tube service don't come in to it.
RMT's London Underground Fleet branch has shown how we can resist the cuts agenda with a fighting response. It is inevitable that management will return with proposals to cut maintenance and we must be ready to remobilise when they do.
In particular, members in the London Transport region will want general secretary Mick Cash to make good on his call for a political campaign to expose how a Labour mayor is enthusiastically implementing Tory cuts.
But the importance of this victory should not be understated. Having managed to impose cuts in some managerial and admin functions where RMT is not the majority union, management thought they could attack a well organised, overwhelmingly RMT workforce. Turns out they were wrong.
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
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In The Socialist 22 May 2019:
International socialist news and analysis
What lies behind the US-China trade war?
Sri Lanka - Ten years after the brutal end of the war
Reject Alabama abortion ban
Labour's nationalisation plan: What policies are needed to avert climate catastrophe?
British Steel threatened closure
What we think
European elections expose deepening political crisis: Workers need a party of our own
Birmingham home carers victory
Probation workers celebrate case management renationalisation
Fantastic RMT London Underground victory
Woolwich ferry workers begin ten days of strike action
Morrisons workers reject pay offer
Unite young members' conference
Workplace news in brief
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
4 June - Walk out against Trump! Climate criminal not welcome
Domestic abuse accommodation: Tories shift - but safety is more than a bed
Haringey: Socialists' stance fully vindicated
Anger and frustration at the establishment
Lifting the mood
Socialist sales boost
Pouring cold water on the Riverside estate
Worcester Tories stonewall action on climate change
Day of action against cuts to special needs education
Opinion: socialists must link climate struggle to power of organised workers
The Socialist Inbox
The Socialist 22 May 2019 |
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