Unions welcome MPs' call to keep East London Line public

Submitted by Janine on Fri, 24/11/2006 - 09:00.

Press release from RMT

TRADE UNIONISTS campaigning to keep the East London Line in public hands have today welcomed the parliamentary call by six London Labour MPs for the line to remain operated by the public sector when it reopens, after extension, in 2010.

The six MPs - Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Kate Hoey, Harry Cohen, Neil Gerrard and John Austsin- have today tabled a fresh motion calling on the mayor of London and TfL to drop plans to hand East London Line operations to one of four private contractors already shortlisted - see text below.

The MPs' move was today welcomed by RMT, TSSA and the TUC's southern and eastern region.

"There is already massive support for our joint campaign to keep the private sector out of the Tube's operations, and three quarters of people in London and the southeast agree that the East London Line should be kept public," noted RMT general secretary Bob Crow

"The extension and upgrade of the East London Line will be good for London, but in the light of the Tube chaos caused by private contractors there can be no doubt that placing its operations in private hands would be a huge mistake," said TSSA general secretary Gerry Doherty.

"The TUC is fully behind the campaign to keep the East London Line's operations in the public sector, and it can be done," added SERTUC seceretary Megan Dobney

RMT and TSSA members will tomorrow lobby the London Labour Party Conference, and the unions' general secretaries are urging delegates to support the campaign to keep the private sector out of Tube operations.

Delegates will also be urged to attend a lunch-time fringe rally to be addressed by RMT general secretary Bob Crow, TSSA assistant general secretary Manuel Cortes and Islington MP Jeremy Corbyn.

RMT, TSSA and SERTUC have already written to elected representatives throughout London, as well as TfL board members, urging them to raise concerns over the planned privatisation with the mayor.

ends

Future of London Underground Passenger Services

EDM, tabled by Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Kate Hoey, Harry Cohen, Neil Gerrard and John Austsin

That this House welcomes the important role that London Underground East London Line extension will play in creating a world class transport infrastructure in preparation for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games; further notes that the East London line is currently operated in the public sector by London Underground; is concerned that there are proposals to transfer responsibility for operating the line to the private sector which would represent the first privatisation of a tube passenger service; believes that the benefits of an extended East London Line will be best achieved by the service remaining wholly in the public sector; notes the IPOS/ MORI poll showing that three quarters of people in London and the South East want the East London Line operations kept in the public sector; welcomes the decision of the 2006 TUC Congress opposing the privatisation of the East London Line and supports the rail unions and TUC campaign to keep the East London Line wholly in the public sector.