Service control workers have won some important demands for job security. Management intended to use the opening of the new Hammersmith Service Control Centre in 2015 as a pretext to keep the staff they wanted and ditch those they did not, and to reshape the service control function in a way that undermines effective trade unionism. RMT demanded – and won - protection of career paths, lifetime protection of earnings and union agreement to staff movements. Service control staff will now keep their rate of pay (and pension) permanently even if they are displaced into a lower grade.
A service control RMT rep told us, “Service control workers across London Underground have shown our solidarity and support to each other by gaining a tremendous victory against hostile LU management, in winning what must be a once-in-a-lifetime guarantee of earnings protection. There can be no doubt that London Underground saw no alternative but to give in to our demands when they realised that their managers could not the skilled jobs that members do on a daily basis when we announced a a three-day strike.”
RMT lost a lot of ground in service control after messing up the 35-hour week and restructuring in 2005/06. This win - achieved by a willingness to take more than a token 24-hour strike, and a refusal to fall for management's spin - should be a big step forward to getting service control better unionised, active and militant again.