Paddy Crumlin, President of the International Transport Workers' Federation and National Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia writes in support of London tube workers industrial action in the following letter to Bob Crow, RMT and Gerry Doherty, TSSA union leaders
To all the Brothers and Sisters of the RMT and TSSA defending the jobs of 800 London underground workers, we extend our solidarity and extend our support.
Your stance on behalf of workers under threat in public sector and urban transport and the safety of the estimated 1.5 million people who use the tube every day has our full support and admiration. It comes after clear mass demonstration that European workers, trade unions and our communities have no further tolerance for attacks on working people for the failure of governments and the private sector to stem endemic negligence and mismanagement of our economies and its essential infrastructure.
You have made every effort to resolve this dispute over long drawn out negotiations in recent weeks and the decision to stop work on Sunday does not come lightly and reflects poor governance and commitment to an outcome by employers.
The tube and London's urban rail network must deliver the highest standards of staff support and service to ensure it remains functional safe and efficient. Cut backs to staff in ticketing and assistance to the public are as dangerous as the cuts to maintenance exposed in recent days. Both could have drastic consequences and severely impede the effective delivery of this essential transport need to the people of and visitors to London, one of the world's most populated cities.
London Mayor Boris Johnson should put public safety before politics, withdraw the job cuts and hold talks with the unions instead of using the upcoming Tory Conference for what appears internationally to be merely another venue for grandstanding and union bashing. At a time when all stakeholders in our world wide community are striving to rebuild confidence trust and strength in our economies, his actions resonate with the cynicism and political opportunism that brought us all to the edge of economic disaster in the first place.
As ITF President, and National Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia and on behalf of the Australian Transport Union Federation I and we extend our full backing support and international solidarity to members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA)