Who do you believe?




The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, comments on the tube strike. Part of the Mayor of London’s website.

(Click to view video.)

or Bob?

— On Wed, 10/6/09, rmtmail <rmtmail@rmt.org.uk> wrote:

From: rmtmail <rmtmail@rmt.org.uk>
Subject: RMT News Alert – LUL
To: “rmtmail” <rmtmail@rmt.org.uk>
Date: Wednesday, 10 June, 2009, 5:52 PM

Dear Colleagues

Please find below a letter I have today sent to the London Mayor.

In response the Mayor has refused face to face negotiations and London Underground are trying to deny an agreement was reached.

The Mayor even walked out of a TV debate today rather than deal with me directly. City Hall and TfL seem to be in disarray.

I have again told the Mayor that an agreement was reached last night but was then vetoed and as such the Mayors management team last night clearly did not have the authority to conclude an agreement and have said I am available for direct talks with him and / or his Transport Commissioner.

I am very confident that thanks for your magnificent support for the strike that we are in a position soon to reach an agreement. Let’s keep up the pressure to protect jobs conditions and for a decent pay deal.

Yours sincerely

Bob Crow

RMT General Secretary

An open letter from Bob Crow to Boris Johnson

10th June 2009

Boris Johnson

Mayor of London

City Hall

The Queens Walk



Dear Mr Johnson

This is my 31st year as a member of the RMT and a worker on London Underground and in all that time I have never experienced such dishonesty from any management that I have dealt with.

I am writing to you as both Mayor and Chair of Transport for London to urge you to agree to direct face to face talks with myself to resolve this dispute and to also address the pack of lies that have been fed to media.

The facts are that yesterday the RMT negotiating team and myself attended nearly seven hours of talks at ACAS and the end of which I was confident we had the basis of agreement which could settle this dispute.

On the question of pay your management made a revised offer of a two year deal or four year deal. It was agreed that would go away, speak to our members and representatives and come back to them. We said it didn’t need to be decided immediately and that we would suspend the action on this issue.

With regard to disciplinary procedures it is an out and out lie that we were only interested in the two sacked drivers, instead there have been widespread and prolonged abuse of the procedures. It was therefore agreed that ACAS would look at all cases and we said that we would be able to suspend the action to allow this to go ahead. Simarly we agreed an end to management abuse of sickness procedures.

In respect of redundancies we were simply asking for your management to honour a longstanding agreement reached in 2001 that there would be not compulsory redundancies. You will be aware that this agreement was borne out of well founded fears that the part privatisation of the tube would be a disaster for tube users and workers alike.  At 6 o’clock last night and an hour before the strike was to begin, this issue was also agreed with Acting Managing Director, Richard Parry. In fact I signed a document to this effect and this was to go back in front of RMT Executive immediately so that we could suspend the strike.

Then astonishingly at 6.35 whilst awaiting the final typed agreement we were told by management that they had made a phone call and that they could no longer abide by the agreement – they reneged before the ink was even dry. We were stunned that management could be so dishonest.

I have no doubt that the phone call made was to the Transport Commissioner or City Hall who instructed the management team to pull the agreed deal. It is an absolute disgrace that we should reach an agreement in good faith only for that agreement to be sabotaged.

Either your senior management are completely dishonest or have no authority to negotiate.  Or it is the case that you have personally intervened to scupper the deal in the belief that a confrontation with tube workers will serve your political agenda.

Londoners will be appalled that you are playing politics with the tube and will be entitled to ask why you, not only as Mayor but also as Chair of Transport for London are running away from face to face talks.

It is absolute nonsense, as some are trying to suggest, that there is some personal animosity between us. I am prepared to meet you anytime and anywhere to resolve this dispute and look forward to hearing from you by return.

I am copying this letter to members of the Transport for London Board, members of the GLA and London MPs.

Yours sincerely

Bob Crow

General Secretary

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