London Underground: Build resistance to bosses’ attacks

by Socialist Party members in RMT

The RMT is an all-grades trade union that seeks strength through unity and action of all grades to defend and improve our conditions.

We are not limited by narrow ‘craft interests’. That is why the ‘final offer’ of a 5% pay rise from London Underground is not acceptable. If accepted, it will further increase the gap between the higher-paid members and the lower-paid. Even for higher-paid members, 5% represents a significant real-terms pay deduction. Currently, RPI inflation is at just under 9%.

For over a decade on London Underground we have won inflation-proofed pay increases.

Victoria Station
Victoria station, 27.7.22. Photo by Paula Mitchell

Through industrial action we have delayed attacks on our pensions. But these savage cuts backed by the government and the London Mayor, Labour’s Sadiq Khan, remain on the table. That is why a big ‘yes’ vote for further action is imperative.

We have also through action (the Socialist Party opposed calling off the coordinated action) and the threat of strikes achieved a partial victory in restoring 200 station jobs and forcing other partial retreats by management.

The latest ‘final pay offer’ should be rejected. And we must build a campaign throughout our membership to resist this threat to reduce our real wages at a time of high inflation. This offer should also be rejected because it contains a freezing of pay bands for some of the grades we cover. This, if implemented, will lead to a pay cut and reduced pensions for these members.

To win would require unified and sustained action that would close down London. We are always told that a day’s strike costs the London economy £50 million plus a day. This shows how important our members are to the London economy. The vast wealth of the London economy is robbed from the workers who create the wealth by big business and the parasitic bankers. The money is there to pay our members and other public service workers that kept London running during Covid and continue to keep it running.

We are dismayed that the Aslef leadership are recommending acceptance of 5%. We urge Aslef members to reject the offer and fight alongside RMT to defend pay, pensions, and terms and conditions.