Resist cuts and privatisation!

Posted in Tubeworker's blog on Wed, 05/08/2020 - 06:31,
A photograph of a Tube platform and tunnel at Baker Street station

The terms of reference announced by the government for the review of TfL's governance and finance make the direction of travel clear: cuts and privatisation.

References to "alternative operating models" and alternative "structures and governance" are coded language for taking TfL out of local government control and selling it off to the private sector. The terms refer to "workforce modernisation" (aka, cuts), and promote the Tory fantasy of driverless trains.

Part-privatisation of the Tube has been tried before, and was a disastrous failed experiment, even on its own terms, as Janine Booth's book Plundering London Underground, which tells the story of the privatisation, and workers' resistance to it, makes clear.

Step one for us in resisting any attacks now is staking out a clear position: fight every single cut, resist any sell-off. We shouldn't look to merely blunt the sharpest edges of any attacks, settling for deals which reduces jobs via voluntary redundancies and natural wastage rather than direct cuts.

We also need to put forward a clear alternative, our own positive vision of a publicly-funded, democratically-run, green public transport system, with all workers directly employed, funded by taxing the rich and business.

Sadly, we're unlikely to get that kind of vision from the independent review Sadiq Khan has commissioned, made up of bankers and bosses! That review is likely to recommend cuts too.

Throwing the brakes on any cuts the Tories impose will require determined industrial and political campaigning. We should demand Khan backs it.

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