7 May 2014



Our Ref LUL/14/5

7th May 2014


Dear Colleagues,


I write further to my letter on Bank Holiday Monday where you were informed that we had suspended all industrial action due to substantial progress in last ditch talks with the company. The General Grades Committee has now had the opportunity to consider this matter further and took the following detailed decision: -

“This General Grades Committee reaffirms the decision on Monday 5th of May to suspend this week’s scheduled strike action on London Underground over our Every Job Matters dispute.  We note that with the prospect of 3 days strike action this week, LU crumbled and acceded to critical demands placed on them by this union: a station by station review; LU to continue to keep on hold all VS applications; and that station staff who do not choose to accept voluntary severance, would be offered a role that involves no reduction in their current substantive salary.

This agreement reached at ACAS makes tangible progress for our members and importantly allows the station by station review to get back on track.  In order to facilitate this process the General Secretary is to raise with LU that our stations reps are to support and feed in to the station-by-station review by submitting a written case for staffing levels and ticket offices on each station in their group. This is to be fully facilitated and supported by the company including the provision of adequate release. On the same basis we demand that there is scrutiny of LUL’s proposals by our health & safety reps.  We also instruct the Lead Officer to provide a weekly written report to the General Secretary on the progress of this review.

While we fully participate and engage in this review this union’s position remains the same: no job cuts, no ticket office closures and no to austerity on London’s Underground. If following this review process, LU refuse to move on the ticket office closures and our other demands this General Grades Committee is prepared and ready to call further strike action in pursuit of our aims and those of the public’s. We instruct the General Secretary to arrange the release of all our representatives following the meeting at ACAS on May 23rd to seek their views on the outcome of the talks.
During this review period the London Transport Regional Council and branches are requested to carry out regular workplace visits and distribute materials to our members.  We instruct the General Secretary to write to the region and branches accordingly.
It is clear that as part of the £4.3 billion worth of cuts, LU will be rolling out attacks to all grades.  This union is particularly concerned on the statements made by LU Directors that they will be coming for our member’s pensions.  We instruct the General Secretary to produce a flyer/newsletter bringing to our members attention the importance of our hard fought for pensions, the threats that LU may make to them and the importance of fighting to defend them.  This newsletter to be produced and distributed within 7 days. 

At the same time LU’s proposals for driverless trains are clearly linked in to a cost cutting agenda.  Referring to our previous decision GWW27.02.14 we note that ASLEF have failed to meet this union to discuss a joint campaign.  We further note however that our London Transport Regional Council’s Train Grades Committee has agreed to launch a ‘train driver’s charter’ focussing on this key aspect of this union’s agenda.  We agree to support and promulgate the launch of this important initiative amongst drivers on the tube.

This union is increasingly concerned at the blatant attempt to poach our driver members by ASLEF and engineering members by UNITE during this dispute in clear breach of TUC Principle 2, rule 11.  We have clear evidence that this has taken place.  We instruct the General Secretary to write ‘open letters’ to both General Secretary’s on this matter to be sent and made available within 7 days.  A letter raising this matter is also to be sent to the TUC.

Given the 4 days strike action already taken by our members and the sustained action this union is engaged in over the defence of our members jobs and conditions and for the future of the tube we request that the full Council of Executives agrees dispute payments to our members and that a framework is agreed to back our members for any future strike action taken.

We note that LU refuse to hold a public consultation on their proposals for the tube and we agree to continue to make this demand to the company.  With the refusal of LU or the Mayor to properly consult the public on these proposals this union therefore will!  We reaffirm our previous decision GWW17.4.14 to hold a stakeholder’s conference to be held on Saturday 26th of July on the future of London’s Underground.  We instruct the General Secretary to give a full report back to this GGC within 7 days of the progress of this important conference for London’s travelling public.  As part of the consultation the General Secretary is instructed to carry out a freepost postcard campaign which the union should use to ascertain the views of Londoners.  Further to this public and political campaign we instruct the General Secretary to seek a meeting with GLA members to agree a joint approach on taking this campaign forward.  We also instruct the General Secretary to write to every Prospective Parliamentary Candidate in Greater London asking their views on the cuts and seeking their support. 

In furtherance of the public campaign this General Grades Committee also encourages ‘HOLT’ – Hands Off London’s Transport -  to set up groups for each line and area, and encourage protests in defence of staffing levels and ticket offices.

On the Equalities impact of LU’s proposals, we note our reps' view that the company has little genuine regard for these issues, seeking only to 'mitigate' its plans rather than change them. We welcome this union’s organisation of a briefing event for equalities campaigners and organisations on 20 May, and instruct the General Secretary to ensure that given that this is just two weeks away, it is built briskly and effectively.

Finally, this General Grades Committee congratulates our members for their solid two days of strike action beginning on the 27th of April.  Their solidarity, unity and resolve to fight these cuts and to defend the job are inspirational.  LU’s claims on what services were running during the two days of action were out and out lies. Their assertion that they ran 52% of the service on the second day was a total fabrication and a deliberate attempt to mislead the public.  LU’s management during the strikes also put the public at risk with untrained staff and dangerous levels of overcrowding.   As the real reports, obtained by this union show, we shut down 60% of the service on both strike days. It has been our member’s action and determination that has forced LU to make these further concessions.”

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all LUL  members for your steadfast support for your union in this vital dispute to stop job cuts, ticket office closures and defend your terms and conditions. Be in no doubt that it was your solidarity and determination that forced LU management to back down.

As the talks continue over the coming weeks, I shall ensure you are kept fully informed of developments. 

Yours sincerely
Mick Cash
Acting General Secretary

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Tagged with: every job matters, london underground, lu, tubestrike