campaigns

 

CAMPAIGN AGAINST TUBE PRIVATISATION


TUBE CUTS THREATEN PASSENGER SAFETY


London Underground (LU) plans to cut over 700 jobs – 450 ticket office and over 200 platform staff – as just the first round of cuts. These proposals will drastically damage tube services and our safety as passengers.


If this wasn’t frightening enough, RMT signal staff (former Metronet section)  won a 90% ballot against LU’s many breaches of agreement (all with safety implications) and its handing over work to private contractors – after the scandal of Metronet’s wasting our money on fat-cat profits, rather than maintaining the Tube.


Boris Johnson (Chair of Transport for London), has proposed a £5billion savings programme to close the very ticket offices he pledged, in his 2008 manifesto, to keep open – after immense public protest. Only Tube ticket offices at main terminals will retain current opening hours and staffing. Unconcerned by the long queues, we face, he wants smaller central London stations open only in peak  hours with 144 more stations reduced to ticket machines. Who will help if the machine breaks down – or worse? Such job cuts will leave us exposed in an emergency and increase danger to the public, especially women travelling at night. CATP supports the RMT and TSSA whose members demand LU keep our stations safely staffed.


Tube Lines (which “maintains” the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly) is running many months late in its upgrading of the lines, causing more station closures, weekend closures, early shut-downs of the Northern Line, etc. It remains privatised by the PPP and is now rapidly losing money. No wonder the RMT has told LU it should take Tube Lines back under LU before it “does a Metronet” and goes bankrupt too. CATP endorses this call.


Another of LU’s damaging plans – revealed in one leaked document - is to cut savagely the number of safety-critical maintenance workers and the frequency of tests carried out on all track and equipment. A further leaked document on LU strategy explains “Recession helps, now is the time to make changes” ie. cuts.  In the 1920s and ‘30s, the government actually funded extra work on the Tube both to improve services and create jobs. Passengers need the same doing now!


We already can barely find a member of staff when needed; LU is refusing to fill 200 vacancies. As we have to pay more for our tickets, we experience more delays, station and line closures, signal failures and other inconveniences. CATP demands stations are fully staffed by well-trained workers and our Tube system be maintained to a standard which the rail unions agree is safe.


*Raise the issues with your candidates in the coming elections

*Write to Boris Johnson, City Hall, off Queen’s Walk, SE1 with your views

*Join CATP supporters in leafleting Tube stations near you. Phone Dave 0207-837-0845 to find out where leafleting is already organised for April, or contact http://www.catp.info





Text of leaflet publicising the June 9-11 2009 industrial action:


CAMPAIGN AGAINST TUBE PRIVATISATION


PASSENGERS NEED SAFE, EFFICIENT TRANSPORT WITH NO STAFF REDUNDANCIES


The Tube’s biggest union, the RMT, balloted nearly10,000 members for strike action on disputes that affect passenger welfare and safety.  An overwhelming majority voted for action. The union has announced 48 hours of strike action from 18.59 (6.59p.m) on Tuesday, 9th June until 18.58 hours (6.58p.m) on Thursday, 11th June. CATP supports this action and believes most passengers will when they find out what’s actually going on.


Up to 3,000 jobs are under threat across the Tube and Transport for London in 2 separate disputes. Mayor Boris Johnson has decided to sack 1,000 workers as just the first tranche of 3,000 possible redundancies across the Tube and Transport for London. Boris insists he doesn’t intend to damage passenger safety, but CATP knows you cannot get rid of all those employees without harm being done – especially when some of them are Health & Safety officers!


London Underground bosses are threatening to tear up an agreement aimed at safeguarding jobs, and refuse to rule out compulsory redundancy. Transport for London (TfL), which now includes London Overground, is threatening compulsory redundancies as part of its overall £2.4 billion cuts package. Much of TfL’s debt arises from taking previously-privatised, debt-ridden Metronet back under TfL control.


Tube management has also been breaching disciplinary and grievance procedures which it had agreed with the RMT. The bosses appear to be encouraging aggressive and punitive behaviour by its local managers. Drivers on the Victoria line were recently forced to take strike action when management victimised 2 union members and refused to install the same safety equipment (which stops doors from opening on the wrong side of the train) that is on all other Tube lines.  This certainly illustrates the current management line of cost-cutting and macho management in one example.


At the same time, London Underground also refuses to budge from an unacceptable 5-year pay “offer” that would bring no real increase for 4 years and may well bring about a pay cut in real terms – while 15 TfL senior managers earn more than the Prime Minister!.


These attacks are happening at a time when the economic and environmental crises are threatening all Londoners. As passengers, we don’t need more unemployment; unemployed workers without a pay packet cannot help to stimulate the economy. With long queues at ticket offices, Londoners need more public transport workers – not less and a service that is run both safe and efficient. Passenger numbers have reached record-breaking levels of 4 million a day, and the Underground’s own study acknowledges workers’ productivity is at an all-time high.


So why sack our transport workers when we desperately need them to keep our services running safely and efficiently?  CATP asks



PASSENGERS SUPPORT OUR TRANSPORT

WORKERS!