london busworkers: olympic 500 – phoney war or wages battle?

First published in Solidarity Forever, paper of London Regional Committee IWW(IWGB), which comprises the London Busworkers Branch (IU IU530)

The union Unite has raised the profile of the campaign to secure a £500 bonus payment for the 28,000 bus workers in London. Leaflets, posters and even executive members have appeared in some garages. The demand for the bonus is just. The increased revenue the bus companies will make during the Olympics will more than cover the cost of a bonus in recognition of the even more stress and demands placed on bus workers. However, this issue raises far wider questions. The campaign has placed on the agenda the more important issue of the steady deterioration of bus workers wages and working conditions. Continue reading “london busworkers: olympic 500 – phoney war or wages battle?”

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tube pay deal: the wages of disunity?

A member of Finsbury Park RMT looks at the London Underground (LUL) dispute and the role of the unions on the Tube

Once again it is nearly a year since we should have had a pay rise. It has been settled after a protracted campaign led industrially by the RMT while the other unions maintained a deafening silence (apart from a certain union leader who encouraged his members to scab in the summer). Continue reading “tube pay deal: the wages of disunity?”

london underground: deadlock over pay

by Vaughan Thomas, RMT London region chair (LUL)

It’s early November and the view from the 23rd floor offices of Euston Tower must be one of the best in London. Low clouds obscure the top of the adjacent Post Office Tower but the “belly of the beast” – the City of London – is clearly visible in the distance; a constant reminder of the reason we are here at ACAS, deadlocked over pay.

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The global financial crisis has had enormous repercussions for working people in all walks of life, in both the private and public sectors.

Even the Underground, which in recent years has tended to be insulated from the worst problems due to massive government investment, is feeling the pinch. And it’s the workers at the bottom who are being pinched hardest. This time, more than any other, it’s important that the transport unions stick together to fight management. Continue reading “london underground: deadlock over pay”

stop the union busters – victory to the rmt

Don’t scab for the bosses
Don’t listen to their lies
Poor folks ain’t got a chance
Unless they organize
Which side are you on boys?
Which side are you on?
Pete Seeger

by Chris Kane

The National Union of Rail Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) have called a 48-hour strike forJune 9th to 11th on the London Underground and Transport for London after workers voted by a huge majority to take action over pay, jobs and justice.

Transport for London is cutting 1,000 jobs, tearing up previous agreements on no compulsory redundancies. TfL are trying to impose a five year pay deal starting with a derisory 1% and for 2009 and RPI+0.5% for the next four years. This amounts to nothing more than a pay cut year after year, they refuse even to consider the RMT’s one year pay claim. Across the London Underground management have been engaged in a campaign of bullying and harassment of staff, ignoring established procedures on discipline and attendance. All this amounts to a premeditated bosses offensive against the RMT, the largest union of rail workers. The conduct of management has been nothing other than a provocation, the Tories want a fight – they have even brought in a union busting firm of consultants from The Burke Group.

This dispute is the first round of a fight with a Tory Party intent on carrying out wide scale cuts in the public sector. Whilst some sections of our movement are currently obsessed by the events of the Westminster Village they need to wake up to the reality of what is at stake in this dispute – if the strongest section of the trade union movement, both politically and industrially, suffers a defeat it will be a set back for the entire movement. Continue reading “stop the union busters – victory to the rmt”