London tube workers hit back at profiteers

Socialist Worker | The threat to strike by 1,000 workers at the Tube Lines consortium on the London Underground over pay and conditions this week has won a new offer from bosses as Socialist Worker went to press.

Theirs is a battle between those who provide a vital public service and the bosses who make a profit from it. A 72-hour strike is planned from 12 noon on Wednesday of this week by maintenance workers in the RMT union. It will have a major effect on the Piccadilly, Jubilee and Northern lines. It may also hit other lines as drivers refuse to compromise safety by taking trains out.

Terry Morgan, Tube Lines’ chief executive, attacked the strike for being “about politics” because the union wants to return the tube to the public sector. But Tube Lines has benefited from Gordon Brown’s political decision to privatise maintenance work on the London Underground. It made £73 million in pre-tax profits last year.

Privatisation has been a disaster. Millions of people will agree with the RMT’s argument to fully renationalise the tube.

Workers who keep Britain’s public services running safely and smoothly deserve decent pay and conditions. The public deserves a service that is run by someone who puts their safety over profit.