Workmates: direct action workplace organising on the London Underground

Kay, Joseph

Date Written:  16/06/2011
Year Published:  2011  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20431

An online pamphlet detailing resistance in the late 1990s by London Underground employees to outsourcing via a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme. Workers organized outside the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) to form a new collective, dubbed the Workmates.

Abstract:  In the late 1990s, plans to outsource track maintenance on the London Underground were being pushed through by the government. Workers at one depot responded by forming a new workplace group, both inside and outside the existing union, the RMT. This pamphlet charts the highs and lows of the Workmates collective, highlighting their successes and failures, their radically democratic organising method and their creative forms of direct action. We hope it can provide an inspiration to other workers frustrated with the limits of the existing workplace organisations.

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