LUL resort to ancient tactic: Divide and Rule.

When RMT put in our pay claim back in November 2008 we submitted it in good faith. We expected management to negotiate improved pay and conditions in a reasonable and professional manner.

Think about it: London Underground staff were breaking records on mileage, customer satisfaction surveys and our bosses were enjoying receiving the plaudits. When was the last On The Move sent to your house that didn’t have some top manager on a junket with a trophy for “Best European railway,” “Best Customer Service”, etc, etc.

So LUL top brass like receiving the acclaim and the bonuses: senior TfL bosses have received a 50% increase in bonus payments over the past two years from £3.6 million in 2007 to £5.3 million this year, but for the workers who actually deliver the service the pay offers have been derisory and insulting.

Up to now the RMT and its members strike action has made progress. The 5 year pay deal has been reduced to 2, the so called “jobs for life deal” secured and the pay offer increased. Of course the pay offer is still no where near acceptable and the union is in the process of balloting our members again.

But the latest round of talks shows the utter contempt that LUL hold its workforce. The RMT was the only union who put a the claim that we wanted a guaranteed job offer for those workers who failed LUL’s medical standards rather than be booted out of the door. Unfortunately at the ACAS talks on November 9th, LUL made an offer in this direction but for train drivers only. And this would be restricted to just 25 train drivers! So if you’re number 26 train driver to fail the standards, screw you! Or what about if you are a worker in service control; a worker on the track; or what about if you work on the stations? Screw you as well!

As Bob Crow said “in a bid to split the unions and divide Underground workers, LUL proposed an arrangement whereby if “Signaller Dave” and “Train Operator John” both develop weak hearing, or diabetes for example, Dave might be terminated but John would get a chance of a CSA job, unless he was diagnosed later in the year and was unlucky enough to be the 26th train operator needing redeployment that year!”

The union is confident that all staff from whatever grade will see though this and other tricks by LUL aimed at dividing the workforce. At one stage LUL even made a bodged attempt to pay the (miniscule) back pay to TSSA and non-members only. Now they have come up with this nonsense.

This latest ploy is an outrageous snub to every grade on the combine - including drivers. Worse though is that this has been orchestrated by ASLEF themselves. This yellow organisation has been collaborating with management from the beginning of the pay talks and has been in cahoots with LUL to undermine RMT’s claim. During the last strikes there was organised scabbing from their own leadership and now ASLEF want to settle for anything, rather than get behind RMT’s campaign for better pay and conditions. It’s a pity they won’t listen to their own reps who also rejected the offer at a mass meeting just a few weeks ago.

The RMT will not accept LUL’s latest offer to divide and rule. With unity across all grades, workers on London Underground will get the pay and conditions that we deserve.