Defend 'Jobs for Life'

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 02/19/2009 - 14:22

LUL seems intent on reneging on the "jobs for life" deal that strike action forced it to concede back in 2001.

That year, at the height of the battle to stop PPP (the story of which is told here and here), ASLEF and RMT took strike action together, at one point defying the anti-union laws. The resulting deal covered all employees of LUL, the infracos and their subsidiaries, and promised "no compulsory redundancies" and at least one new job offer for any worker who became "surplus". It became known as the "jobs for life" deal.

LUL management now want out. Why? Because they want to cut shedloads of jobs, and in case we don't all go willingly, they want the right to push us out of the door.

Their attitude stinks. For workers, the whole point of us winning agreements when we are strong is that they can protect us during harder times. For management, the mirror-image applies: if you want to attack workers, start off by tearing up the agreements they have forced out of you in the past.

We have to unite to defend the "jobs for life" deal.

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Tubeworker opposed the unions signing this deal. Only a few others shared our opposition, and it is hardly surprising that others accepted what was promoted to them as 'the best deal in British industry'.

In the pamphlet examining the struggle against PPP published by Workers' Liberty, we explained our reasons, including that the deal "contained get-out clauses for the employers. For example, the guarantee of 'no compulsory redundancies' was dependant on the union co-operating with 'organisational change and new working arrangements'."

It now seems that management intend to invoke this get-out clause by pushing an 'organisational change process' so appalling that the unions can not possibly co-operate with it and therefore declare the 'no compulsory redundancies' commitment null and void.

Despite Tubeworker's warnings about this deal, we now have to defend it against management's job-cutting sabotage.