ACAS fail to bring about solution, industrial action goes ahead
Talks at conciliation service ACAS broke up today following an irreparable disagreement between the two sides. 10,000 members of London Underground’s two biggest unions now begin final preparations for a rolling series of strikes starting on Monday September 6 against plans to axe 800 station and other staff and close ticket-offices.Ex-Metronet (maintenance and engineering) staff will begin their first 24-hour strike at 17:00 on September 6, with similar action also scheduled to begin at the same time on Sunday October 3; Tuesday November 2, and Sunday November 28.
Other LUL grades (including station and revenue staff, operational managers, drivers and signallers) will start their first 24-hour strike at 21:00 on Monday September 6, with similar action also set to start at the same time on Sunday October 3; Tuesday November 2, and Sunday November 28.
An indefinite overtime ban for all LUL members of both unions will start at a minute after midnight on Monday September 6. Timings and forms of action may also be varied.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said, “LU management knew very well that meaningful talks could not proceed while the threat of cuts to safety and safe staffing levels hung over our members heads – their failure to remove that threat sabotaged any prospect of making progress. RMT and TSSA negotiators completely demolished the LU/TfL line that the cuts are simply about new technology and the Oyster Card. The planned cuts are part of a multi-billion black hole facing the Mayor due to the costs of the failure of tube privatisation and an attack on funding levels from the ConDem Government.”
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "Londoners are a hardy bunch and I am sure a Tube strike will not deter us from getting around. I have asked TfL to pull out all the stops. But we must be clear that the RMT and TSSA plan to inconvenience Londoners for no good reason. The extra measures we have put in call for a team effort and people will need to consider buses, boats or bikes as an alternative to their usual journeys. But this planned action will cause disruption for millions of Londoners and I call on the unions to get round the table and show common sense."
The Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) have unveiled details of a major effort to help people get to work and get around the capital if a Tube strike threatened by the leadership of the RMT and TSSA unions goes ahead.
Around a hundred extra buses, escorted bike rides, marshalled taxi ranks, and capacity for 10,000 more journeys on the river have been organised to help keep Londoners moving. Volunteers will also be positioned at Tube, bus, and rail stations to assist Londoners with their journeys and provide maps and other useful information. Disruption is expected from the late afternoon of Monday 6 September, and is expected to last throughout Tuesday 7 September if the union leadership goes ahead with the strike.
Londoners who own a bike are encouraged to cycle to work. Cycle parking facilities are being made easier for newcomers to access, and a Cycling Journey Planner will be available on TfL’s website. The 5,000 Barclays Cycle Hire bikes will be available to members of the scheme, and TfL’s contractors will be working to ensure that bikes are redistributed as effectively as possible.
London Overground, Tramlink, and Docklands Light Railway (DLR) services will be operating as normal, although some stations where there is an interchange with London Underground may be affected. London Underground is working to operate as many services as possible, but passengers are advised that significant disruption is possible and that alternative travel options and staggering journey times should be considered where possible.
September 3, 2010