Ken Livingstone has today written to all unions representing staff at troubled Tube PPP contractor Metronet calling for their planned strikes not to proceed in light of assurances received with regard to the pensions, jobs and transfers of their members.
The Mayor’s letter states:
“When we met on Thursday, 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.
The Administrator and Metronet have written to you today giving you the necessary assurances that there will be no reduction in jobs or transfers of employees from Metronet during the period of administration and that your members pensions will be fully protected.
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.
This means that the terms of the John Prescott letter dated 14 September will continue to apply during and after administration.
I re-iterate that Transport for London has notified the Administrator that it proposes to take over the Metronet contracts. I then want the contracts to be restructured so that maintenance is controlled directly by London Underground and in those areas that are outside of London Underground’s own capacity, such as building new trains, contracts are let to the private sector on a competitive basis.
This meets all of the concerns that you raised with me when we met and provides you with clear assurances that no Metronet employees will suffer loss of pensions, jobs or be transferred as a result of the collapse of Metronet.
Under these circumstances the strikes called for 3 September should not proceed.”
When the trade unions met the Mayor they said that while they welcomed his intervention, they also wanted assurances from their employers, Metronet and the PPP Administrator.
The PPP Administrator and Metronet have subsequently written to the trade unions today providing the assurances for which they were asked.
According to a statement issued by the Mayor’s office their letter, signed by Alan Bloom, PPP Administrator and Andrew Lezala Chief Executive Officer Metronet BCV/SSL “provides all of the assurances requested by the trade unions with regard to jobs, transfers and pensions.”
However RMT Leader Bob Crow said the letter “falls way short of the guarantees our members need and deserve”
Mr Crow said his union was looking for “an unequivocal confirmation that Prescott’s statement will be adhered to by this employer or by any other employer under the PPP. Anything less is unacceptable.”