Friday, March 20, 2009

Protesting for Jobs, Pay and Justice

The main reason for my sparse blogging of late is the amount of union work I have been doing. This is due to having been elected to a new post (RMT London Transport Regional Council Secretary), and due to the massive dispute we are entering into.

London Underground is cutting 1,000 jobs, and making a five-year pay offer of RPI+1% in year one, followed by RPI only for the next four years - in reality, a year-on-year real-terms pay cut. Meanwhile, RMT rightly accuses London Underground managers of an attendance and discipline crackdown, including breaking its own procedures. Transport for London (the Underground's parent company) plans an unspecified number of job cuts - probably running into thousands - and won't even talk to the union about pay, because, it says, the gap between the employer and the union is so wide as to make talks pointless.

While thousands of jobs are lost each week across industry, and some union bureaucrats think that the only way to stop this is to sign off pay cuts for their members (but not for themselves), it is good indeed that RMT is fighting back, and is balloting all its members in all grades in London Underground at TfL for industrial action.

You can read more about this dispute on the RMT London Calling website here, and more rank-and-file views here.

But I know that Stroppyblog reader like a nice set of protest pics, so here is the demo that I joined this morning at 7.30am ...