LondonNet News Headlines
12/02/01
Kiley Hopes to Deliver Peace
- Deal could be struck by tomorrow

BOB KILEY has assumed the role of key peacemaker in the dispute between London Underground and its train drivers.

The new tube boss has kept himself in the background since Monday's drivers' strike but is now apparently ready to step into the fray and concede two important points to ASLEF and RMT, the two main unions for Underground staff.

First, Kiley is set to back union arguments that splitting up the Underground system, a move made in the run up to privatisation, has already compromised safety and second, the former head of New York's subway system is thought likely to make some assurances on driver and station staff redundancies.

On the first point, Kiley and his boss, London Mayor Ken Livingstone, believe they can get the government to amend its plans for privatisation and roll back the controversial split between train services and track maintenance, the kind of mis-organisation that has caused such damage to the national overground network.

In return, the government expect to get their way on overall tube funding and will be able to introduce Public Private Partnership. Thereby hangs a problem for both Kiley and the unions. Private money will want a return on its investment and will inevitably push for large scale redundancies.

Underground bosses and union chiefs say they hope to thrash out a deal by Thursday evening but the expectations are that the deal will offer only thin words of comfort on future staffing levels.




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