I’m sure everyone has heard that RMT is currently debating whether to accept the £850 bonus LUL has offered to station and other staff for the Olympics but I’ve only just heard about another dispute where RMT are about to ballot for strike action.
For those of you who don’t know Tube Lines was a consortium of private companies created in 2002 under the Public-Private Partnership to handle the maintenance and upgrade of the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly Lines while another consortium, Metronet, covered the rest of the Tube. Metronet went into administration in 2008 and the whole operation was taken back by LUL while Tube Lines lasted until 2010 before it was bought out by TfL though unlike Metronet it was not merged with LUL.
Unlike their Metronet colleagues Tube Lines staff have not been allowed to join the TfL pension scheme and they don’t get free travel. As usual RMT claim that management have refused to budge on the issue while Tube Lines say that RMT shouldn’t be balloting when negotiations are taking place.
From past experience I think it’s fairly safe to predict the following:-
Less than half the RMT members at Tube Lines will vote but the majority will be in favour of strike action.
The Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly Line will suffer at least one day’s disruption as TOps refuse to take out trains that have not been checked.
Boris and other Tories will make a big thing of the low turnout, complaining that only a minority of all Tube Line workers supported the strike and call for a change in the voting system, missing the obvious irony that less than half those eligible bothered to vote at the last Mayoral election with only 19% of Londoners making Boris their first choice.
There will be a large number of comments written on the Evening Standard website and elsewhere calling for LUL to sack the lot and bring in driverless trains.