Threat to rail jobs

Submitted by AWL on 15 July, 2020 - 6:45
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Extracts from Tubeworker and Off The Rails

On London Underground [LU], we hear a manager in Stations Structural Maintenance has been appointed to conduct a “headcount review” of the entire department.

Tory-appointed auditors KPMG may be recommending similar reviews elsewhere.

The unions need to prepare to fight job cuts wherever they’re proposed.

Boris Johnson has suggested in an interview that one condition of ongoing government funding for Transport for London and LU should be a move towards driverless trains. “Let’s not be prisoners of the unions.”

Although the real technical barriers to implementing driverless trains are much higher than most of its advocates care to admit, or perhaps are even aware of, we can’t afford to be complacent. The government is deeply committed to attacking unions, and is still planning to bring forward new legislation specifically to restrict railworkers’ right to strike.

The RMT union has produced a useful “Covid-19 Charter”, collating the main demands for additional safety measures and policies the union has been pressing for across LU throughout the pandemic.

It is best used like a checklist, ticking off the measures that have been won in your workplace, and seeing which ones we need more pressure on. If there are more crosses than ticks, then a refusal of unsafe work needs to be organised collectively, rather than just on an individual basis.

• Fighting job cuts: Zoom meeting, jointly hosted by Tubeworker and Off the Rails. Thursday 16 July, 16:00-18:00. Zoomlink. Speakers: Janine Booth, London Underground worker and chair of the RMT Disabled Members Advisory Committee; John Pencott, Network Rail worker, RMT lay tutor.

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