Thursday, 1 April 2010

RMT v London Underground: April Strikes

The news that the RMT is once again balloting its members for strike action will come as no surprise to Londoners, well used to Communist Bob's use of the union to further his political goals at our expense.

What seems to be different about what now appears to be the inevitable wave of strike action that will probably cripple the tube next month is that London Underground appears ready for the fight. A leaked document that appeared yesterday with details of discussions amongst managers about how to 'ride out' the strike are intriguing for two reasons.

First, the RMT's strikes are a bit hit and miss these days. This strike for example completely flopped, and our Bob was forced to crawl away trying to pretend he'd won some magnificent victory. So if London Underground stuck to its guns and the strike was weak to start with, they'd probably win hands down.

Second, if the RMT was really embarased by that sort of flop, could it lead ultimately to the end of the Bob Crow regime at the Union? It seems like eons ago now, but the union didn't used to be this ridiculous. Under the leadership of Jimmy Knapp its members got a good deal without needing to constantly bellow and threaten. The contrast between the hard left thuggishness of Bob Crow and the tough but principled and intelligent leadership of Jimmy Knapp speaks volumes.

One of the most telling remarks made in the leaked document is the observation that tube workers are well paid and 'insulated from the recession'. Very true. I remember comments on this blog from some RMT members who were apologising for striking as they watched passengers who'd lost their jobs struggle to fit through the ticket barriers with the boxes they'd cleared from their desks that day. Bob couldn't give a flying composite motion about that.

I wonder if Communist Bob has taken just one liberty too far with Londoners this time around.


  1. Bit one sided here - a) Crow isn't an absolute tyrant, but operates at the whim of his members, unions being democratic organisations operating under tight regulation b) there are a large number of job losses among Tube workers in the offing c) relations between LU workers and management have gone seriously downhill over the last year, since Tim O'Toole left and the management started pushing a harder line.

    Notably the recent staff survey results showed a marked loss of trust in management. Sub-tabloid schtick about 'Communist Bob' doesn't help, really.

  2. chrisunderwood1 April 2010 at 15:16

    I'd go further than you, actually I'm being downright childish but where Bob Crow's concerned that's justified! I'm happily drawing attention to the fact that he is pursuing a communist agenda (click the link on his name in the article, he's a fully paid up communist) but dressing it up in the name of jobs and/or safety. In response to your points:
    a) Crow operates within the rules but pursues a political agenda very much different to his predecessors. fact.
    b) If there are job losses that's no different to any other sector
    c) Agree relations are at a low but given point a that's hardly surprising