Tube workers' Olympics fight: one workforce, one bonus!

Submitted by Matthew on 1 February, 2012 - 1:49

London Underground staff were gobsmacked by the pathetic £15 per shift Olympic bonus offer, which has now been upped to £20. RMT has knocked both offers back.

It is attendance-based, so if you’re sick or take summer annual leave for childcare, you won’t get it all. LU even cheekily re-branded quarter 2 of our existing bonus scheme as part of the Olympics package.

LU wants a lot from its staff. We’ll be working til 2 or 3am. On stations, moving shifts has created gaps that take some stations below minimum numbers. They need us to do overtime to keep stations open.

Meanwhile, drivers are not happy they are being bribed £500 to break their train operators’ agreement (by working overtime and making extra trips in a shift). Drivers in the RMT and some in ASLEF have told management they won’t do it, refusing to throw away hard-won conditions for a one-off bribe. It’s good that some ASLEF members have rejected what their ASLEF officials negotiated. LU is pocketing around £17 million from the Olympics Authority. The Games will earn them extra revenue. They are giving themselves an Olympic reward, rather than rewarding their staff.

On London Overground and DLR, unions have reached an agreement; the DLR deal is worth £2,500. On TfL, travel information staff have been banned from booking annual leave — and they haven’t been offered a penny! Cleaning staff are calling for extra staff and extra pay. Nothing has been offered yet, but more members are joining the RMT, so hopefully cleaning companies will offer something soon.

The London press’s reporting of the negotiations has been typically malicious. In the same edition of the Evening Standard which evoked sympathy for RBS banker Stephen Hester, who was “pressured” into giving up his £1 million bonus (a bonus for doing what, exactly?), tube workers were accused of “greed” just for demanding a proportionate pay increase for a huge increase in workload! Even the Standard itself accepts that we’ll be dealing with hundreds of thousands of extra passengers each day.

We are one workforce. All we want is a decent bonus for workers in all companies on London Transport, without management eroding our terms and conditions.

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