Underground bosses are not prepared to commit to honour agreements.
The Coranavirus pandemic has created a huge hole in TfL finances as customer numbers have dropped dramatically. A Government bailout was needed to keep services running through the summer and negotiations are now taking place with the Treasury and Department of Transport on a longer-term funding package.
Even before the pandemic TfL had faced big cuts and many projects had been scaled back. Now there will be delays and cancellations to many others.
But savings won’t just be restricted to investments and upgrades. Management have been clear that they will also need to look for “efficiencies” in how services operate. That is code for job cuts and attacks on agreements and conditions of service.
During the early weeks of the crises, tube workers were called “heroes” as they took huge personal risks to deliver a service for essential workers. Just a couple of months later the Prime Minister is publicly calling for “driverless trains” and getting rid of effective trade unions as a condition of funding the Underground.
The PM’s vision may be a fantasy but is shows the clear direction they are heading in. Government appointed auditors are already planning a major “restructure” of TfL. Wages, conditions, and pensions will all be in their sights.
ASLEF has formally asked that management give an unequivocal commitment that London Underground will stick to the agreed Machinery of Negotiation and Health and Safety Machinery and confirm that they will not impose any changes to our members terms and conditions of employment or to the Trains Framework agreement or any other agreement reached with ASLEF at any level of the machinery without specific agreement at the appropriate level of the machinery.
They have refused to give that commitment and instead have just said that they will continue to hold meetings with trade unions to tell us of their plans. That means that unless we are prepared and ready to fight, we will face an unprecedented attack on our conditions and agreements.
I am confident that ASLEF members will be ready to protect the conditions they have given so much to achieve and we will work with other unions across TfL to protect all our futures.
Join us if can at the joint union ZOOM rally on Wednesday evening on the link below as we make the case for a fair funding settlement for TfL. But ultimately, we know we will only be able to save jobs, wages and conditions if we are ready and willing to act as well as to talk.
TfL funding rally: Wednesday 15th July at 6pm. Links below
Zoom ID: 853 2902 6471