Four To One Vote For Strike Action On Tube Lines In Fight For Pension’s Justice
TUBE UNION RMT today confirmed a four to one vote for strike action in a ballot of Tube Lines staff in support of a dispute over pensions and benefits justice.
RMT has been demanding that all Tube Lines staff, including ex-Alstom staff at Stratford Market depot and the Emergency Response Unit, be allowed to join the TfL Pension Scheme and receive the same travel concessions as those who work for LUL, including former Metronet staff. The union call for justice has been on the agenda ever since London Underground took over Tube Lines as part of the rescue operation after the failure of the tube privatisation project.
Parity would bring Tube Lines staff free travel within London and 75 per cent of the cost of travel on the mainline railway – the concession that all Tube staff, including ex-Metronet people, already get.
Tube Lines staff are responsible for both maintenance and upgrade work on the Jubilee line, Northern line and Piccadilly line. They also provide a number of services across the network including the Emergency Response Unit (ERU), Distribution Services and Trans Plant meaning that action by staff would have a serious and widespread impact across the system.
The RMT executive will now consider the next course of action in light of the overwhelming ballot result which was triggered after a unanimous call for action by workplace reps when they met in February following several months of stonewalling by Tube Lines bosses.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
“This is a massive mandate for action following a straightforward demand for parity with other Tube staff. This dispute is about justice and about ensuring that all groups of staff under the umbrella of London Underground receive the same rights and benefits.”
“We have gone through all the negotiating channels on both these issues but Tube Lines has refused to budge and have refused to engage in meaningful talks and that pig-headed approach has raised the temperature on the shop floor and is reflected in this result."
“Former Metronet employees have been allowed back into the TfL Pension Fund (TfLPF) and now also have the same travel facilities as other LUL employees."
“Tube Lines is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London and there is simply no excuse for refusing to give equal pension and pass rights."
“The union remains ready to talk, and this strong mandate for industrial action shows Tube Lines and TfL the depth of anger there is over this blatant lack of fairness and justice.”