"We do have a deal with the most important people, the
Tube drivers, that was done last September. This last part, is
really trying to sort out the last semantics" said Howard Collins, chief
operating officer for London Underground, to LBC. This Tuesday, 8th May 2012, he will be at ACAS with the RMT "trying to iron out the last few words that need
sorting. We're confident and I know Bob Crow the leader of the RMT,
doesn't want to disrupt the Olympics, we've got to work together on
this, and find a solution. If that means burning the midnight oil all
next week to sort it, lets get focused on London and the Olympics. We're
all positive about it and just want to get this last piece out of the way."
Apparently some of the "few words that need sorting" are that the RMT are unhappy about are the requirement for
'unlimited flexibility'. Knowing the flexibility of union leaders this shouldn't come as a surprise. An ‘expression of interest’ document is currently circulating London Underground depots
asking all drivers to state what shifts they are prepared to work during the Olympics and Paralympics. RMT's London Regional Council said "Until such time as the union reaches agreement with London Underground
all members are advised not to fill in or return these forms to
Howard Collins said "We've been talking
to the other unions too, we know Unite have asked their members what
they wish to do and that information is coming in, we're pretty
positive. The dialogue we've had with ASLEF has been very positive. But it's really about the issue with the
RMT and we really want to get them into the party to make
sure that deal is done."
Transport Tests toook place on 5th May 2012 - 'Super Saturday' as 80,000 people visited
the Olympic Park in Stratford for the first time. Collins said "Transport for London is working hard with our Olympic and Paralympic
partners to ensure that we can deliver a fantastic 2012 Games this
summer. We know that the Games are a huge logistical challenge, however
our detailed planning and testing, along with our experience of dealing
with large-scale events, means we are confident that we can keep London
moving during the Games."
Update - 10th May 2012 - LBC report the that talks over the £850 one off payment at conciliation service ACAS between LU and the RMT have ended without agreement. "The Union claim a deal was agreed and close but was reneged on by transport bosses who've concluded a similiar deal with the Tube drivers union ASLEF. Now they're promising a ballot for industrial action "very soon" short of a strike during the Games."