Rail unions

Rail, Maritime and Tranposrt Union (RMT); Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF); Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA)

East Midlands Trains

EMT imposed its pay deal for all staff except drivers in December. They rushed it out so that the money would be in peoples’ bank accounts just before Christmas. Drivers are already in talks for the 2009 pay round as their anniversary date was moved to the start of the year. Management have presented a productivity wish list with an indication that the pay award without productivity will be very small.

EMT imposed its pay deal for all staff except drivers in December. They rushed it out so that the money would be in peoples’ bank accounts just before Christmas.

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In brief: short industrial reports

NHS privatisation, Arriva Trains Wales, London Underground ex-Metronet jobs, Tube cleaners, Irish unions and students.


NHS PRIVATISATION: A massive transformation is taking place in primary care as the division is made between commissioning and providing services.

By April 2009 Primary Care Trusts are expected to have formalised the separation between their providing and commissioning arms and plans are to be in place for the transformation of the providing body into an independent organisation.

NHS privatisation, Arriva Trains Wales, London Underground ex-Metronet jobs, Tube cleaners, Irish unions and students

Around the world: 

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Tubeworker 11/2/09: Unions Must Fight Job Cuts!

As London Underground announces 1,000 job cuts with TfL to follow with many more, Tubeworker calls for an effective fight. It also discusses the call for an amnesty for immigrant workers, reports on the 'snowday' farce, and carries several other local reports.

Click the file name below to view, download and/or print it. Click here to read Tubeworker's blog.

As London Underground announces 1,000 job cuts with TfL to follow with many more, Tubeworker calls for an effective fight. It also discusses the call for an amnesty for immigrant workers, reports on the 'snowday' farce, and carries several other local reports.

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Tubeworker 20/1/09 - Fight for a Decent Pay Rise

The new issue of Tubeworker tackles the defeatist view that workers should settle for a less-than-adequate pay rise; and calls on all workers to defend sacked RMT reps in CBS Outdoor and ISS.

The new issue of Tubeworker tackles the defeatist view that workers should settle for a less-than-adequate pay rise; and calls on all workers to defend sacked RMT reps in CBS Outdoor and ISS. It also covers the issues of Heathrow expansion and Israel's war on Gaza, and workplace reports inclue freezing temperatures, fare rises and RCIs being forced to move workplace.

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Workers need a political voice today!

Author: 

Vicki Morris

120 people attended the RMT-organised meeting ‘to discuss the crisis in working-class political representation’, held in London on 10 January. The meeting agreed unanimously that workers need a new political voice, but could not agree on when — or, at least, on the next steps to create one.

Debate centred on 1. whether we should stand working-class candidates in elections soon; 2. the role of a charter in organising working-class representation – alternative to standing candidates, or a way to support them?

Bob Crow, RMT General Secretary, said he wanted a new working-class party, but could not say when. Many people, he said, himself included, had “got their fingers burnt”...

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Tube cleaners victimised: support Mary Oboakye!

Author: 

Bob Sutton and Rebecca Galbraith

At the beginning of the year, RMT London Underground Cleaners’ Secretary, Clara Osagiede was disciplined on trumped up charge of gross misconduct by her employer, the contractor, ISS. Another RMT rep, Mary Oboakye was sacked because, while she waited for the tube-train doors to open, she rested her eyes, injured in an industrial accident two days previously — for which she was unable to take more time off work because she would have received no sick pay.

In the wake of the Tube cleaners' pay strike last year, ISS has victimised two union reps. Charges have been dropped against one of them, but Mary Oboakye remains sacked.

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London Tube cleaners' union reps threatened with sacking

Author: 

Robin Sivapalan

Following a protest at the ISS offices on 8 January, Clara has been cleared - but Mary's sacking still stands. New protest - Wed 14 Jan, 11am, ISS HQ, 15 Park Vista, London SE10 9LZ (near Maze Hill station). Meet 10am at London Bridge station.

Below is a letter sent out to call for the 8 January protest.

Dear comrades,

I was angered to hear this evening that Clara, the secretary of the cleaners' grade of the RMT, and Mary another union rep, have been called in for disciplinaries this Thursday. Both face immediate sacking.

Following a protest at the ISS offices on 8 January, Clara has been cleared - but Mary's sacking still stands. New protest - Wed 14 Jan, 11am, ISS HQ, 15 Park Vista, London SE10 9LZ (near Maze Hill station). Meet 10am at London Bridge station.

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Tubeworker 7/12/08: Pay - the war of words begins

The first round of talks on Tube workers' pay is about to start, and the new issue of Tubeworker examines RMT's pay claim. We also report on a looming dispute over Metronet's transfer back to LUL, the current series of strikes by EDF Powerlink workers, and other issues from the attendance clampdown to management's festive meanness.

Click on the file name below to view, download and print it. Click here to read Tubeworker's blog.

The first round of talks on Tube workers' pay is about to start, and the new issue of Tubeworker examines RMT's pay claim.

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Support the 10 January conference!

Author: 

Rhodri Evans

The rail union RMT has called a workers' representation conference for 10 January 2009 at Friends House on Euston Road, London (11:00-15:00 - leaflet attached).

There rumours that the PCS civil service union may also sponsor the conference. Matt Wrack, general secretary of the firefighters' union FBU, has told Solidarity that he will be asking RMT to approach FBU to co-sponsor the conference.

But in any case it is an important initiative, one originating from a motion originating from AWL which got passed at the RMT's Annual General Meeting this year.

The rail union RMT has called a workers' representation conference for 10 January 2009 at Friends House on Euston Road, London (11:00-15:00). There rumours that the PCS civil service union may also sponsor the conference

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Metronet

In October, engineering workers employed by Tube contractor Metronet were told that they would be transferred back to London Underground Ltd by December. This seemed like a victory: effective nationalisation, bringing the workers and the work back in-house.

The devil, however, was in the details, which have now emerged. The workers will be transferred back into LUL, but the work they do will stay in the private sector, offered to private contractors. The LUL, ex-Metronet staff will be left with no work to do, and management will have a perfect reason to make them all redundant.

In October, engineering workers employed by Tube contractor Metronet were told that they would be transferred back to London Underground Ltd by December. The devil, however, was in the details, which have now emerged.

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Campaign for free, publicly owned transport

Author: 

Bruce Robinson

On the 11 December Greater Manchester will vote on a package of government funding for transport that is dependent on the introduction of congestion charging over a wide area of 80 square miles around the centre of Manchester. To win, there needs to be a majority for the proposals in seven of the 10 GM boroughs. This may be helped by the fact that the referendum question does not mention the charge.

On the 11 December Greater Manchester will vote on a package of government funding for transport that is dependent on the introduction of congestion charging over a wide area of 80 square miles around the centre of Manchester.

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Tubeworker 17/11/08: We Need A Workers' Plan!

The new issue of Tubeworker outlines a set of demands that workers should fight for to defend ourselves from the economic crisis. It also reminds readers to vote for Steve Hedley for RMT Regional Organiser, and reports on workplace issues from the EDF Powerlink strike to the possibility of forced displacements of station staff and drivers. Download it here.

The new issue of Tubeworker outlines a set of demands that workers should fight for to defend ourselves from the economic crisis. It also reminds readers to vote for Steve Hedley for RMT Regional Organiser, and reports on workplace issues from the EDF Powerlink strike to the possibility of forced displacements of station staff and drivers.

Click on the file name below to view, download and print it; click here to read Tubeworker's blog.

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Talking about workers' candidates

Author: 

Colin Foster

On 15 November the Labour Representation Committee meets for its annual conference. The rail union RMT has called a cross-union conference on working-class political representation for 10 January 2009.

And Nottinghamshire Trades Council is planning a local trade unionists' meeting on workers’ representation in February 2009. East Midlands RMT branch is involved in this plan, which, like the calling of the 10 January conference, is in line with a resolution carried at the RMT’s conference in June 2008.

On 15 November the Labour Representation Committee meets for its annual conference. The rail union RMT has called a cross-union conference on working-class political representation for 10 January 2009.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Draft motion for the 10 January workers' representation conference

The rail union RMT has called a workers' representation conference for 10 January 2009 at Friends House, Euston Road, London NW1.

It is not clear as yet whether this conference will allow motions. AWL members will however be promoting the motion in union branches at the same time as we argue for those branches to send delegates to the 10 January conference. Below are a "short text" and a "long text".


Short text

This branch believes that the working class needs our own independent political representation.

A draft motion spelling out what we will argue for at the workers' representation conference called by the rail union RMT for 10 January 2009 at Friends House, Euston Road, London NW1.

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Tubeworker 28/10/08: Vote Steve Hedley!

With ballot papers about to be sent out in the election for RMT's London Transport Regional Organiser, Tubeworker urges its readers to vote for Steve Hedley.

With ballot papers about to be sent out in the election for RMT's London Transport Regional Organiser, Tubeworker urges its readers to vote for Steve Hedley.

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RMT calls "working-class representation" conference

Author: 

Gerry Bates

The rail union RMT has called a cross-union conference on working-class political representation for 10 January 2009.

Details

The conference has been called in line with a motion passed at the RMT's Annual General Meeting this year. The motion came from Stratford no.1 branch and was moved by Janine Booth, a London Transport region delegate to the AGM and an AWL member.

The rail union RMT has called a cross-union conference on working-class political representation for 10 January 2009.

Trade Unions: 

Short industrial reports

LOCAL GOVERNMENT: On 20 August and 24 September Scottish local government workers staged two successful 24-hour strikes demanding a 5% pay-rise or £1,000, whichever is the greater. The employers’ improved offer was 2.5% rise this year.

The strikes were to have been followed up by longer selective action.

Scottish local government workers; Scottish rail signallers; Nottingham Trent University; Unite left

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Solidarity defeats victimisation on London Underground

In the last issue of Solidarity, we reported how London Underground infrastructure contractor Metronet was attempting to victimise RMT rep Andy Littlechild. Following the threat of strikes, the union has won the dispute, with Andy keeping his job and his grade.

This is doubtless due to the strong response from his workmates, who immediately balloted for strike action and made their support for Andy clear. Metronet knew they were facing the prospect of a massive Yes vote and effective strike action that could have coincided with the bus workers’ strike on 22 October.

Thanks to RMT mobilisation, Andy Littlechild has kept his job and his grade.

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Scottish rail signallers set to strike

Author: 

Dale Street

Although talks at ACAS are underway at the time of writing, 450 railway signallers in Scotland are due to stage two 24-hour strikes later this week, from noon on 7th October, and again from noon on 9th October.

A continuous ban on overtime and rest-day working is also set to commence at 00.01 on the day of the first strike.

Strike over rostering agreements

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Tubeworker 5/10/08: Defend Andy Littlechild, Defend All Tube Workers

The new issue of Tubeworker calls for a determined fight to defend victimised Metronet rep Andy Littlechild, in context of management attacks on all Underground staff.

The new issue of Tubeworker calls for a determined fight to defend victimised Metronet rep Andy Littlechild, in context of management attacks on all Underground staff.

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Test case on the Tube

Author: 

Gerry Bates

Following a series of victimisations, Tube bosses are upping the stakes by suspending a leading trade union activist on the network.

Andy Littlechild, a well-known local rep at Lillie Bridge and activist on the "company council" - the top relevant union body - was suspended by the infrastructure company Metronet on Tuesday 16 September, on trumped-up charges.

Following a series of victimisations, Tube bosses are upping the stakes by suspending a leading trade union activist on the network.

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Off The Rails Autumn 2008

The new Off The Rails is now available, covering issues from the economic crisis to Network Rail harmonisation, East Midlands Trains to improving union websites, plus the history of the OILC organising offshore, and much more.

The new Off The Rails is now available, covering issues from the economic crisis to Network Rail harmonisation, East Midlands Trains to improving union websites, plus the history of the OILC organising offshore, and much more.

Click here to read the articles.

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RMT: Suggested Rule Changes

Off The Rails will be arguing for a rule change in the unions to give some formal status to strike committees. As RMT holds a 'rule change' AGM next year, we will be proposing a new rule that when the union goes into dispute, it will recognise a strike committee elected by the workers involved, which will have the right to submit proposals regarding the conduct of the strike to the union's Executive (General Grades Committee / Shipping Committee), and will be asked its opinion of any offer from the employer before the union decides whether or not to accept it.

Off The Rails will be arguing for a rule change in the unions to give some formal status to strike committees.

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Southeastern Strikes

Workers on Southeastern Trains are striking about two separate issues - guards and drivers against the extension of dirver-only operation (DOO), and retail and engineering staff against a below-inflation pay offer. The strikes take place on 22-23 September.

The new 395 Hitachi 'Javelin' trains are management's pretext to extend DOO, leaving up to 1,000 passengers per train without the protection of a guard. ASLEF should join the action: the loss of the guards affects drivers’ safety and workload too.

Workers on Southeastern Trains are striking about two separate issues - guards and drivers against the extension of dirver-only operation (DOO), and retail and engineering staff against a below-inflation pay offer. The strikes take place on 22-23 September.

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OILC: a history lesson in organising offshore

This year, the Offshore Industry Liaison Committee (OILC) merged into RMT. It is twenty years since the tragedy that prompted the OILC to form.

This year, the Offshore Industry Liaison Committee (OILC) merged into RMT. It is twenty years since the tragedy that prompted the OILC to form.

Marxist Theory and History: 

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