Throughout 2013, RMT members fought a struggle for the reinstatement of 33 agency workers who lost their jobs when their agency was (rightly) kicked off the Underground. I wrote this poem in support of that campaign. Eventually some, but not all, of the workers got permanent jobs on London Underground.
Justice for the 33
Used and abused by an agency
Most of them ethnic minority
Out of work; what a travesty
Five years working on Underground stations
Helping passengers to their destinations
Receiving praise and commendations
But not their rights under Regulations
Their Trainpeople boss is out on its ear
We don’t want spivs like that round here
But their staff shouldn’t pay a price so dear
Sack agencies not workers: our call is clear
They’re using agencies to plug the gap
Instead of real jobs they toss us a scrap
Hoping insecure workers will doff their cap
And other staff caught in the casualisation trap
This is an injustice to me and you
To everyone working on L.U.
Stand by your workmates – it’s the right thing to do
Cos after all, next time … It could be you!