New Worker Banner

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Tube battles

by New Worker correspondent

LONDON’S underground was almost brought to a standstill on Tuesday when 10,000 tube workers belonging to RMT took strike action for the day in opposition to plans by Transport for London (TfL) to cut 600 frontline jobs. Apart from that immediate threat, further job cuts and pension cuts are in the pipeline.

The union is demanding that Labour Mayor, Sadiq Khan, keep promises he made to London Underground workers that he has now abandoned by promising the Government that he will make enough cuts to please the Tories in return for funding for “modernisation plans”. The union points out that there is no shortage of money in the TfL pension fund, which is fully funded.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Sadiq Khan should be standing up to Tory ministers who want to needlessly attack jobs, pensions and conditions of key transport workers. It is this political failure that has left tube workers with no choice but to strike this week. Our members have been left paying the price for a turf war between City Hall and the Government and they are not having it as can be seen right across London today.”


Although not involved in the strike action, Manuel Cortes, General Secretary of the booking clerks’ union TSSA, said: “The government’s micromanagement of TfL is strangling the life out of it. TfL can’t make plans and is in a position of stagnation and decline under the government’s oppressive approach.”

The strike brought some tube lines to a complete standstill and others provided a much-reduced service, both in terms of frequency and reduced coverage. Some Overground routes were also affected.

Sadiq Khan falsely claimed that the strike had “gone ahead despite there being no job losses, and no changes to pensions or conditions”. Andy Lord, TfL’s CEO, also accused RMT of being “turkeys voting for Christmas” and claimed the action would only encourage continued working from home, which would mean less passengers.