17 April 2014
GENERAL GRADES COMMITTEE CALLS FURTHER INDUSTRIAL ACTION
EVERY JOB MATTERS – DEFENDING JOBS ON LONDON UNDERGROUND
GENERAL GRADES COMMITTEE CALLS FURTHER INDUSTRIAL ACTION
This General Grades Committee has considered a report from the Lead Officer and is disgusted at the outcome of the talks at ACAS that this union entered into in good faith. When this General Grades Committee suspended our strike action in February London Underground undertook to conduct a review of every station and stated that “some ticket offices could stay open”. The General Grades Committee are outraged that despite 8 weeks of discussions only five stations were reviewed and London Underground are still maintaining that every ticket office will close by the end of 2015. This union views London Underground’s commitments as dishonest and a total breach of trust between them and ourselves, our members, London’s public, and passengers.
At the end of these discussions London Underground now insist on slashing safety critical front line staff by 953 Jobs London Undergrounds 840 more from the front-line equating to some 1793 positions being lost. Not only do London Underground plan on removing nearly 1800 front-line operational roles they intend to create 900 new managers. If their plans are implemented there will be one manager for every 4 members of station staff. London Underground’s claims of providing more visible staff on stations is a cynical lie. The figures now provided to the union show cuts to the number of staff on stations across the whole of the underground. When this disgraceful increase in managers is taken into account the cuts in operational staff are even bigger. Not only will London’s tube passengers lose their ticket offices but there will be massively fewer staff to help across the stations and provide a safe reliable tube system.
The General Grades Committee also note the in the Lead Officer’s report that neither has any improvements been made on protection of earnings or job selection. Worse, the talks at ACAS have further deepened and exposed that London Underground’s proposals are a whole scale attack on the staffing levels and wages structure on our members livelihoods. Furthermore while London Underground propose to undermine and slash earning levels to front line staff, London Underground Directors are insistent on lining their own pockets. This General Grades Committee is outraged at their response to this union’s concrete proposals for the Underground to save monies by limiting and setting a maximum salary to directors who are paid obscene financial packages. In their document “Detailed response to RMT counter proposals” their statement, “As a consequence of this benchmarking, TFL has no reason to believe that there is any “over-inflation” in the pay packages for senior staff – if anything the reverse is correct.” This is a total affront to our members facing redundancy and massive wage cuts.
The outcome to the 8 weeks of talks at ACAS have clearly exposed the lie that these proposals for London’s Underground are about “modernisation”. They are only the first tranche of cuts to the staffing levels and safety culture on the tube due to government imposed austerity cuts to London Underground and TfL. This union’s position is clear: we will not stand by and allow this attack on station staff. We know London Underground’s
plan to roll out the same process to engineering staff, Fleet, Service Control and all grades across the company. We are further aware of their proposals to come for our members’ pension funds and arrangements. Their proposals for driverless trains are a folly, and are not supported by tube users and will be resisted by this union.
This General Grades Committee that we will fight and campaign against austerity on London’s Underground and its parent body, Transport for London. They fully endorse our former General Secretary’s initiative to call a conference of academics and stakeholders in July 2014 to examine and make a report on the future of London’s tube. They agree to hold demonstrations and bring to the travelling publics’ attention these dangerous, unsafe and damaging proposals to the Underground and agree to continue to support the work of the campaigning body ‘Hands off London’s Transport’. They request that the full Council of Executives makes a financial donation to this important campaigning umbrella body. The public are clearly opposed to London Underground’s plans for the tube and this union will do our utmost to bring these proposals to the attention of Londoners using every means at our disposal.
This General Grades Committee also notes the report of our Equalities representatives, indicating that London Underground’s proposals will have a significant detrimental impact on equalities and that London Underground has misled those equalities organisations that it has contacted. They believe that these organisations, and campaigners who work hard to promote equality, are entitled to know the truth about LUL's proposals. They also agree to our representatives' recommendation and instruct the General Secretary to organise a briefing event for equalities organisations and campaigners in a fully accessible venue and is to include our Regional Organiser and all the equalities representatives who took part in the talks. Invitations are to be sent to national organisations, and to organisations in London and the surrounding areas, which promote equality and promote the interests of women, disabled people, LGBT people, young people, ethnic minorities and older people, all of whom will suffer massively from LUL's proposals. We aim to hold this event mid May.
THE GENERAL GRADES COMMITTEE HAS, AS A RESULT OF ALL THE POINTS MADE ABOVE CALLED THE FOLLOWING INDUSTRIAL ACTION
The General Grades Committee instruct all our members, EXCLUDING FLEET STAFF, not to book on for any shifts that commence between:-
- 21:00 hours on Monday 28th of April 2014 until 20:59 hours on Wednesday 30th April 2014; and
- 21:00 hours on Monday 5th of May 2014 until 20:59 hours on Thursday 8th of May 2014.
All members employed in the FLEET GRADES will be instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:-
- 18.30 hours on Monday 28th of April 2014 until 18.29 hours on Wednesday 30th April 2014; and
- 18.30 hours on Monday 5th of May 2014 until 18.29 hours on Thursday 8th of May 2014.
Furthermore all members in the station grades are instructed not to work any rest days or overtime from 00.01 hours on Tuesday 29th of April 2014 until further notice.
I will be writing to our sister unions seeking their support and I will, of course, keep you informed of developments.
Acting General Secretary