UK - Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London, has hit back at the city's transport workers, saying a strike over employment and pensions should not proceed as their concerns have been met.
In a letter to the trade unions representing Metronet employees, Livingstone said: "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.”
He added: “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.”
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) responded by saying the first of two 72-hour strikes by more than 2,300 members would go ahead.
Bob Crow, general secretary at the RMT said: "The letter we have received from Metronet and the administrator falls way short of the guarantees our members need and deserve. 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.”
Crow added: "On pensions we have received no guarantee from the employer at all."
Metronet has responsibility for renewing nine of the twelve lines on the entire network of London Underground.
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