Londoners: walk

It would appear the mooted 72-hour strike (you read that correctly) is still on:

Millions of London underground passengers face travel chaos this evening after the RMT refused to join two fellow tube unions in calling off a three-day strike over jobs and pensions following the collapse of Metronet.

Passengers were warned of “severe disruption” to Tube services because of the strike and were urged to seek alternative routes from tonight.

London Underground said in a statement that trains would have to be back at depots before the 72-hour strike begins at 6pm tonight, right in the middle of rush hour.

Metronet, again, makes an appearance (do they not always show up when shit goes pear?)

Bob Crow, the RMT’s general secretary, blamed the situation on Metronet and its administrator for failing to give the “unequivocal guarantees” on jobs, transfers and pensions that the union was seeking.

A second 72-hour strike is scheduled to start at the same time next Monday, September 10.

Mr Crow said: “The efforts the mayor and Transport for London have put in to try to broker a deal have been welcome, but the problem for all of us remains that Metronet and its administrator are the employer, and the qualified assurances they have given cover only the period of administration.

“It is astonishing that the administrator can decide all sorts of things, including who will take over the PPP contracts, but is unable to give an unequivocal guarantee that the jobs of the people who will actually deliver the tube’s upgrades will be safe.”

But the RMT was isolated today after the other two tube unions, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association and Unite, abandoned strike action following written guarantees from Transport for London over jobs and pensions.

Unlike the RMT, Unite seemed satisfied with the assurances it has received.

As discussed the last time TfL and Metronet made a stage appearance together, the government is not supposed to be required, here – is that not the point of privatisation? Liberal Conservatism takes another blow.

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