Lillie Road depot ballot called over mad dash demolition plan

RMT to ballot for action at main tube track maintenance and renewals depot.

TUBE UNION RMT confirmed today that it has begun preparations for a ballot for both strike action and action short of a strike for all staff working out of the main track maintenance and renewals depot at Lillie Road in Earls Court.

Staff at the depot have gone into dispute after they got caught in the middle of a mad dash by Mayor Boris Johnson to bulldoze through the demolition of whole swathes of the Earls Court area to open the door for luxury housing for the tax-dodging super rich before he hands over the keys to City Hall in May. It is that drive that has led to a scramble to vacate the Lillie Road depot, riding roughshod over agreed consultation timetables and threatening the jobs and working conditions of the RMT members caught in the crossfire.

Earlier talks at LU Company Council aimed at averting a dispute were successful and ended in an agreement that the Beaumont Ave end of the Lillie Road depot would be opened up to allow works traffic in and out during the development, and that LU/TfL would consult the RMT in good time as and when the TfL/Capco development plans progressed to affect the depot again. Capco are the luxury property development partners of TFL.

Hoever at the beginning this year notice has been given to all departments at Lillie Bridge Depot that we are required to vacate by 2019. This sudden compressing of the timetable means that the Feasibility Study for the move to Acton Depot has to be done by May 2016 – a few weeks away – and the concept approval for what happens to all staff based in the depot is due to be completed in June 2016 – less than two months away.

No progress has been made on any serious consultation leading RMT to the conclusion that the process is being rail-roaded at the behest of the Mayor and his property developer partners.

RMT’s demands are simple, clear and reasonable:

1. An agreement signed off at the highest LU/TfL level setting out an acceptable location for us all to move to.

2. An agreement signed off at the highest LU/TfL level that all the finances needed to fund the move plus any building etc at the new location is agreed to be made available

The failure to offer those agreements has triggered the move to a ballot.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“The livelihoods and jobs of all RMT members at Lillie Road is under severe threat due to London Mayor Boris Johnsons wish to wrap up the Capco/TfL luxury housing development deal for the super-rich between Earls Court, West Kensington and West Brompton ahead of the Mayoral election. The bulldozing through of these plans is at the clear expense of local tenants, residents and the jobs of RMT members affected by the accompanying demolition of Lillie Bridge Depot.

“The RMT has spent years successfully defending our members at Lillie Bridge Depot and we are not going to take this latest attack that all stems from the obsession with luxury property speculation in this City.

“RMT remains available for talks.”

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