In October, engineering workers employed by Tube contractor Metronet were told that they would be transferred back to London Underground Ltd by December. This seemed like a victory: effective nationalisation, bringing the workers and the work back in-house.
The devil, however, was in the details, which have now emerged. The workers will be transferred back into LUL, but the work they do will stay in the private sector, offered to private contractors. The LUL, ex-Metronet staff will be left with no work to do, and management will have a perfect reason to make them all redundant.
This looks like an elaborate plan to get rid of one of the most militant and well-organised groups of workers on the Underground. Metronet workers will not stand for this. They will be building towards one final strike ballot before the transfer, to insist they can continue their jobs under public ownership.