Remember us speculating about a possible Summer of Discontent on the rail and tube networks, with hardline troublemaker Bob Crow testing out Boris’s mettle while the Blond Blunderer attempts to channel the spirit of Thatcher? It’s not quite worked out as it did for the Iron Lady:
Workers on London Overground are to receive a 20% average increase in wages after the successful conclusion of negotiations with the RMT. RMT members had given their negotiators a massive 10-1 mandate for strike action in the run up to the talks which was a clear reflection of their anger over feeling unrewarded and undervalued for many years.
In addition to the pay increase, it was also agreed that there would be no extension of driver only operated trains. As a result, the conductors have not only kept their jobs but a further 23 new posts have been created.
RMT is carrying out a referendum ballot of members with a recommendation to accept the company’s offer.
“This is a massive victory for RMT members on London Overground who have fought hard for a decent pay deal and it proves that the RMT has the organizational strength to deliver real gains for our members,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today.
“I would like to congratulate all of our members who have stood firm during these negotiations and this is a result that they fully deserve,” Bob Crow said.
20% wage increase? In a recession where we all have to tighten our belts and Boris speaks sternly to the Standard about how strapped for cash they are at TfL Towers and that bonuses and salary cuts are on the menu, doubtless along with gruel? Oh dear, Boris, I do hope this doesn’t get out. The Tories will hate it. Still, on the bright side it avoids the bizarre situation where Boris would be introducing conductors/PCSOs/whatever onto buses on the one hand while withdrawing guards from the Overground with the other – one of the concessions was a promise not to introduce more Driver Only Operation on London Overground.
More to the point for the unfortunate travelling public, Bob and the boys will doubtless be back for more. There’s already a two-day strike in the offing on the Victoria Line, for instance, as well as the simmering dispute about TfL job cuts. I’m sure Thatcher would, in her prime, be sternly telling jelly-spine Johnson to stand firm against these unwashed communists for the good of the Nation but sadly for union-bashing Tories everywhere he doesn’t seem to be made of the same stuff – far from wrenching the RMT’s thumb off the windpipe of the London commuter Boris appears to have got a swift kick in the happy sacks for his trouble.
How’s that No-Strike Agreement coming on, anyway?
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