Government plan for "workforce modernisation" attack on Underground staff terms and conditions
It's been obvious for some time that the Government's plan for TfL funding would involve a major attack on workers term and conditions. Today it has been made explicit.
The terms of reference for the financial review are clear that they want to implement "workforce modernisation, and explore the feasibility of extending driverless operation"
Driverless trains on the Underground are a fantasy that even the current MD has said is undeliverable. But "workforce modernisation" is code for ripping up terms and conditions and agreements and that is exactly what they plan to do.
ASLEF asked management for assurances that they would honour all existing agreements. We didn't get them because it is clear that have no intention to do so.
At the height of the pandemic, Government ministers were prepared to applaud front line staff who kept London moving. But as soon as they have a chance, they want to use Covid-19 as an opportunity to attack wages and conditions just as other big employers like BA, Centrica and the Royal Mail have.
Underground staff risked their own safety and that of their own families to provide a public service. Tonight they will be asking themselves if it was really worthwhile when they are treated so shabbily ?
Throughout his career Boris Johnson has used people and then discarded them. So it is no surprise to Underground staff that he wants to do the same to us.
But if you thought Underground staff showed calm determination in carrying on through the pandemic, just wait and see the determination and resilience they will show when it comes to fighting to protect their terms and conditions.