RMT victory for Tube workers

TRANSPORT union RMT confirmed on Monday that it had secured a massive victory for Tube Lines maintenance staff on London Underground on pensions, pay and Night Tube:

  1. Pensions: Access to the Transport for London (TfL) Pension Fund for all current employees and new joiners from 29th January 2017. Former Metronet staff on Transport for TfL and London Underground (LU) will also be able to enter the scheme.
  2. Pay: A protected RPI [retail price index] pensionable salary increase in every year from April 2015 until April 2019. Plus a consolidated £500 payment in the first year in recognition of the move to a 24-hour passenger service operation.
  3. Night Tube: A £500 non-consolidated payment to all Operational Staff following the successful launch of the service on the Piccadilly Line on 16th December 2016.

The breakthrough came after years of determined and united campaigning and fighting for a fair deal, which has included the use of industrial action.

RMT says that the ground-breaking deal, which turns the tide on attacks on final-salary pensions which are prevalent across British industry, has only been achieved through strong, militant trade unionism, and the solidarity and the resilience of the tube maintenance workforce.

Mick Cash, the RMT general secretary, said: “RMT is pleased to be able to report that in the two specific disputes with Tube Lines the union has been able to secure a good pay deal and, critically, we have finally been able to win equality and justice in pension provision for all Tube Lines members.

“The dispute over pensions goes back years and is a legacy of PPP [public—private partnership]. This issue is now resolved and we cannot overstate the massive achievement that has been secured through a long battle involving strike action, campaigning and years of resolve and determination from our Tube Lines members.

“This victory proves once again that the RMT model of militant, industrial trade unionism, backed up by professional negotiations and campaigning, gets results where it matters. We could not have secured this stunning breakthrough without the sheer guts and resilience of our members and they are a credit to the entire trade union movement.”

On the same day the union revealed that London Overground services, which are controlled by TfL, are subsidising fares for rail passengers in Germany.

The RMT has found that London Overground, since it was launched in 2007, using previously under-used national rail lines around greater London and Hertfordshire, has made enough profit to cut fares for passengers by five per cent per year. But that will not happen.

TfL has franchised the operation of the service to Arriva, which is owned by the German state, in a seven-year £1.5 billion contract agreed with former London Mayor Boris Johnson.

RMT said the research demonstrates that if further rail services are devolved to the London Mayor in the future then he should press for them to be run directly in the public sector, which could result in London passengers benefiting from a significant fare cut.