Shutdown!

Submitted by Tubeworker on Mon, 01/09/2017 - 08:54

Pickets are in confident mood this morning, as the most effective station staff strike in memory cranks up the pressure on management.

With hardly any trains running and few Section 12 stations open, management can not remain in denial about how strongly staff of all grades feel about the stripping away of staff from stations. The pressure is now on the company and the Mayor to make good the damage of Fit for the Future - Stations.

The 'accepted wisdom' that station (and revenue) staff can not fight alone has been blown out of the water. First the overtime ban, and now today, have shown that we are more powerful than the picture often painted of a 'weak' group of grades.

That said, there has been welcome solidarity from other grades, especially drivers, with significant numbers refusing to cross picket lines and other refusing to drive on safety grounds. As well as showing basic solidarity to their workmates, drivers are acting in their own interests by doing this. Immediately, an incident on the road in today's conditions would be a night mare; in the longer term, the harder a fight we give LUL over FftF-Stations, the more reticent the company will be to plough ahead with Fit for the Future - Trains.

With driverless trains being designed at built right now, the fight to defend jobs is an all-grades battle. We can have effective grade-specific action, but we can have even more effective cross-grade action.

RMT and TSSA striking together has kept the action solid. TSSA's wobble over the weekend was put right by its rank-and-file reps and members telling their officials in no uncertain terms that they were going to remain part of the strike. So much for media claims of 'union bosses ordering staff to strike' - at least in TSSA's case, it was the other way round!

Although we are getting the usual anti-union cliches in the media and the vox pops, we are getting a lot of support too, and the union case is being put over well where it gets the space to do so.

If we go straight from the picket lines to the naming further strikes, we can push this forward to a win. If we don't - if our unions wait for management to move or appear uncertain about what to do next - then our momentum will wane and we risk snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

There is a lot at stake here - our work-life balance, our safety at work, hundreds of jobs, the service we provide. It deserves the most effective possible campaign.