LT Health & safety

Get Sick, Get Sacked?

Two recent cases of what might well amount to disability discrimination have shed further light on how LU treats its staff.

Two workers "failed" their probations, both due to attendance issues related to serious physical conditions. (Read more here.)

Behind empty phrases about its "duty of care" and commitment to equal opportunities, the fact is that LU treats sickness punitively. It punishes us for getting ill.

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Mind The Gap

According to stats dug out by a Freedom of Information request, PTI incidents have been increasing at such a rate that there were five times as many in 2014 than in 2003. The number of incidents rose every year between these two.

On what planet is the appropriate response to this to cut station staffing?!

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Drivers Refuse Unsafe Picc Trains

TfL's website claims a "temporary shortage of train operators" has caused a part suspension and severe delays on the Piccadilly line. What it doesn't tell readers is that this is because drivers are refusing to operate trains following a door opening on a train travelling through the tunnel under Heathrow airport.

After yesterday's incident, management could have made strenuous efforts to resolve the problem and verify that the fleet is safe. But no.

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Engineers: Vote Yes for Strikes!

Engineers in the RMT are currently taking part in two strike ballots, both concluding on 28 January.

TubeLines staff are being balloted for strikes over pay. Reps overwhelmingly rejected a settlement (which also covers proposed pay and terms conditions arrangements for the proposed "Night Tube") that was equivalent to the deal offered to LU staff, which unions have also rejected.

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Oblique Images, Obtuse Management Response

On crowded platforms, it can be hard for the train driver to see the "Platform Train Interface", particularly on a curved platform. This is what LUL calls an "oblique image" - where people on the platform block the driver's view of the PTI. We'd call it a blind spot.

There are dozens of these all over the Tube, posing a serious safety risk to passengers. Some of the worst locations have been given additional station staff support from the Special Requirements Team so CSAs on the platform can assist drivers. But this isn't a "special" requirement - it's a permanent one!

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Let Us Breathe!

An ISS cleaner has contracted a serious illness, which union health and safety reps believe may be linked to the cleaning chemicals they use. They are demanding workers be issued with proper respirator masks rather than the particle masks they are currently given.

To add insult to (serious) injury, ISS are only paying the work Statutory Sick Pay of £90, despite their critical condition.

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Fix The Roof!

At Harrow and Wealdstone recently, a huge piece of the ceiling in the ticket hall collapsed, along with one of the lamps. Luckily, this happened at 4am and nobody was hurt. Just a few weeks ago, a piece of the ceiling in the cleaners' mess room also collapsed. Again, fortunately, no-one was hurt.

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"Crime" down but assaults are up

LU's employee communications have implied we should feel grateful that it is bothering to get extra police for Night Tube at a time when "crime on LU is at an all-time low".

LU is on another planet! "Low crime" is no comfort when assaults on Tube staff have increased by 44% and sexual assaults on passengers have risen by over 30% in the last year.

LU cannot continue to dismiss our concerns for personal and passenger safety surrounding Night Tube.

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Night Of The Living NIRMs

All sorts of troubling reports are reaching Tubeworker HQ about the depths to which the company is sinking to keep things afloat as our industrial action continues and our overtime ban bites.

One correspondent writes: "During the 8-9 July strike, it's rumoured that one of the 'all singing, all dancing' NIRMs (Network Incident Response Managers) covered a shunter's role despite having no line or geographical knowledge of the location, no technical training, and being an ex-DSM as opposed to ex-DMT or DRM."

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