31 January 2014
THE GENERAL Secretary of tube union RMT, Bob Crow, has today written to London Mayor Boris Johnson in his role as Chair of Transport for London calling for urgent, face-to-face talks with a view to negotiating a settlement to the tube dispute which enters its first phase of strike action from next Tuesday.
The direct approach to the Mayor has come after intensive efforts by union officials through the offices of ACAS have failed to reach agreement so far. RMT suspects that, as in previous tube disputes, the management side in the ACAS talks are being driven from the highest political level and that is time to bring Boris Johnson directly into the negotiations.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
“Let’s be absolutely clear, this dispute is solely about a savage package of austerity cuts, driven from the highest level, that would axe nearly a thousand jobs, close ticket offices and passenger services, decimate safety standards and leave the tube network inaccessible for many Londoners.
“With the action looming large next week it is now time for Boris Johnson to get out of the City Hall bunker and start talking with us directly. He masterminded these cuts and it is now up to him to step up and start taking responsibility for the dispute that they have unleashed.
“If Boris Johnson really wants to reduce the tube to a criminals paradise, run by an over-stretched, skeleton staff, then he should be prepared to meet with us directly to tell us that. If he doesn’t, then he needs to join us at the talks as a matter of urgency so that we can reach a negotiated settlement to the dispute face to face. RMT is ready and waiting and we expect a positive response.”