Unless there are any last minute negotiations and agreements with the RMT, it looks like Monday's Tube strike will be going ahead. From 6pm on Monday 3rd September, more than 2,300 of RMT's members will go on strike for 72 hours. Apparently the only lines that won't be closed are the Jubilee, Northern & Piccadilly Lines - although as the sign above and email (below) from Tube MD Tim O'Toole says - expect them to be much fuller than usual.
Unions UNITE and TSSA were also due to go on strike with Metronet but both have called off the strike as they were happy with the guarantees over pensions, redundancies and any forced transfers made as a result of Metronet's collapse. Mayor Ken carried out discussions with all union leaders and wrote a letter stating that all of their demands had been met:
"I outlined my views on how we should proceed following the collapse of Metronet and, specifically, that no Metronet staff should suffer any loss of pension, employment or be transferred. You indicated that you would need these commitments to be confirmed by the current employers, Metronet and the Administrator.
"The Administrator and Metronet have written to you today giving you the necessary assurances that there will be no reduction in jobs or transfers of employees from Metronet during the period of administration and that your members pensions will be fully protected.
"I can confirm that no Metronet employees will lose a penny of their pensions. The guarantees provided to members of the TfL Pension Fund under the Greater London Authority Act and the London Transport Pension Arrangements Order 2000, will remain and be abided by Metronet and the Administrator and that the Metronet business will be transferred to the subsequent employers on this basis, as part of a full Scheme Rescue and ongoingly."
After further reassuring comments he concluded "With clear assurances from the Administrator and Metronet that there will be no job cuts, transfers or losses in pensions as a result of the collapse of Metronet, and my clear commitments for the future security of all Metronet staff, it would be unreasonable to proceed with strikes which will disrupt the lives of millions of Londoners and lose Metronet employees considerable sums in pay."
And yet Bob Crow from the RMT states that the Ken's comments are "not enough" and that letters from Metronet & the adminstrator fall "way short" of what was demanded. Stating that "the guarantees we need can only come from the employer."
He said "What we sought was firm, unequivocal guarantees, but frankly our members are being asked to stake their jobs and their pensions on a pig in a poke...... When the jobs and pensions of our members are at stake - not to mention the Tube upgrades that the capital cannot do without - vague assurances are not enough, and the strike by our members will go ahead at 6pm on Monday".
Keep an eye on the Tube's site and listen out to the news on Monday morning for how this will effect your journey home from Monday night and the following three days.