Ban-tastic!

Submitted by Tubeworker on Sun, 04/12/2016 - 00:47

The overtime ban is biting. Major stations including Temple, St. James's Park, Earl's Court, and Bond Street have all closed. Dozens of other stations have had partial closures or been left unstaffed.

LU's online updates continue to use the ridiculous formulation "absence of staff" to explain closures, as if we simply haven't turned up or have got lost on the way to work! Most CSMs and CSSs have been translating this nonsensical management-speak when they make their stations PAs, and using the more accurate "lack of staff" or "staff shortage" to explain the closures.

RMT members, and the TSSA members who've supported them so far (TSSA's own ban kicks in from 8 December, and excepting a few ignoble instances, many TSSA members have respected RMT's ban up to now), have taken a stand by refusing to help the company paper of the cracks in an understaffed system. The increasing closures expose the reality: stations are reliant on overtime to remain open. In other words, the company needs us to sell them more of our labour power than we agreed to when we signed our contracts. When we refuse, stations close.

The company is on the ropes. They've already made concessions in Acas negotiations, accepting that jobs need to be put back on stations and agreeing to participate in a seven-day review alongside our unions to determine where to allocate them.

We've been here before, with similar "reviews" resulting in paltry numbers of jobs coming back. The number of job cuts management reverse will be directly proportional to how much pressure they feel under. So let's turn it up: let's name strikes!

It's too late for us to coordinate with the Hammersmith and City and Picc Line drivers' strikes on 6 December, but we could strike in parallel with Southern guards and drivers' actions on 13-14, 16, or 19-20 December. Naming strikes on one or several of those dates would focus the bosses' minds wonderfully, and let them know that if the review doesn't result in widespread reversals of job cuts, with hundreds of jobs coming back onto stations, we will walk out.

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