"Progress"?

Submitted by Tubeworker on Tue, 08/25/2015 - 20:43

We have been receiving messages from our respective unions telling us that this week's strikes are off, with an explanation that talks are making "progress". Perhaps we are supposed to just accept this without wanting to know more, but rank-and-file Tube workers do want to know more, and local reps are being pressed for answers that they do not have.

It is good to know that progress is being made, but surely this has happened because we had industrial action on, logically suggesting that keeping it on would lead to more progress.

We want to know the details: they are details about OUR jobs and working conditions, after all. Tube workers have shown huge commitment to the current disputes: to keep that commitment, we need to be kept informed. Simply telling us that strikes are on, then off, then on again, inevitably starts to drain morale.

Negotiating reps are now circulating some more details, which is welcome: it's a shame that the communications from head offices didn't do this.

It is noticeable that the list of items in the stations jobs dispute where progress has been made does not include any definite progress on job cuts and ticket office closures. The other issues are important, but without movement on the central issues, they will amount to smoothing the edges of a savage attack on the workforce.

The unions are rightly keen to insist that the disputes are not over, but if that is the case, then why call off the action? We can understand the desire to have strikes of all four unions on two weeks' time rather than three of the four this week, but why call off the overtime ban?! That wasn't an issue for ASLEF, and it was having a real bite on fleet and stations.

We need more answers.