Blog posts

100 years since the Russian Revolution: what happened, and why it matters Tubeworker Mon, 10/23/2017 - 13:15

In October 1917 the working class took power in Russia. Although this is often described as an undemocratic coup, Tubeworker believes that democracy was at the heart of the events that brought the working class to power in 1917. How did they do it?

In 1917 Russia was still an autocracy ruled over by a monarch, the Tsar. In contrast, the capitalist class and the ruling regime were weak. The Tsar was unpopular. The peasants wanted land. The people were war-weary. Russia’s participation in World War One had cost around 3.6 million soldiers’ lives by late 1916.

Life under ABM Tubeworker Mon, 10/23/2017 - 13:11

As we all know, ABM has taken over cleaning contracts on London Underground from September, and is continuing to transfer staff through TUPE regulations. Interserve staff have already transferred, with Vinci staff due to go over in early December, followed by ISS staff in February.

Stay Another Day?

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 10/19/2017 - 09:33

What is it with management, thinking we can just add hours of (unpaid) travelling time to our working week just to suit their latest reshuffle?

They want to move some engineering staff from Cody Road (in E16) to Lillie Bridge, over in West Kensington. That's 50 minutes travelling time away.

While management hide in their bunkers pushing us around like plastic figures on a wartime map, we confidently expect our union reps to insist that this ridiculous move is stopped.

4-day week? Only for full-timers. Tubeworker Thu, 10/19/2017 - 09:14

Night Tube drivers are disappointed to see that the opportunity to work a four-day week is only available to drivers who currently work five days. Why not to Night Tubers too?

The issue that prompted the four-day week trial is that some full-time drivers struggle with the demands of a five-day week. But there are Night Tubers who struggle with a five-day week to the extent that they can't even consider doing it.

Seeing red (tabards)! Tubeworker Tue, 10/17/2017 - 00:00

Surveys by the independent transport watchdog London TravelWatch have consistently revealed that, despite LU's spin that closing ticket offices would make staff "more visible", passengers consistently have difficulty finding members of staff to assist them on stations.

Here at Tubeworker, we think the problem is clear: there aren't enough staff. The solution is to reverse job cuts.

LU has other ideas. It insists the problem is one of "visibility", and to ameliorate this it is trialling the use of red tabards (emblazoned with "here to help") at certain locations.

ABM: More of the same Tubeworker Mon, 10/16/2017 - 23:56

We're a month into the new "super-contract" for cleaning, with American firm having taken over from Interserve (the transfer of ISS staff to ABM is due to take place in February), and it very much seems to be a case of "meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

Cleaners report that the scandal of short payment is continuing, with workers finding their pay packets considerably lighter than they should be.

This is theft: there is no excuse for any employer to pay their workers less than they are owed.

Pain in the art? Tubeworker Mon, 10/16/2017 - 23:43

Here at Tubeworker, we're big advocates of public art and the liberating potential of artistic expression. But art installations in our workplaces need to take the safety and welfare of staff into account.

This consideration went missing with a recent "Art on the Underground" installation at King's Cross, by the Met/H&C gateline, which featured a looped 12-minute film, with a soundtrack featuring high-pitched singing throughout. A site space allocation was sent to safety reps, but no risk assessment was carried out.

On Guard - 10/2017: Socialism can save the planet! OnGuard Tue, 10/10/2017 - 23:11

The latest issue of On Guard, a socialist bulletin for Northern workers in Sheffield, published by Workers' Liberty. Read online here.

Solidarity with the Picturehouse cinema workers' strikes! Tubeworker Fri, 10/06/2017 - 20:14

Workers at the Picturehouse cinema chain, owned by corporate giant Cineworld, have been in dispute for over a year to win living wages, union recognition, and other workplace rights. They're in the Bectu union, now a section of Prospect. Four of their reps at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton have been sacked for their role in organising the strikes, and Picturehouse has threatened any worker who continues to participate in industrial action with dismissal.

Aslef strike off Tubeworker Fri, 10/06/2017 - 19:28

What’s in the settlement Aslef called off Thursday’s strike for? Well, it’s not entirely clear.

Union reports to members say the four-day-week trial on the Jubilee Line will be "analysed", and if seen as unsuccessful, a "nine-day-fortnight" may be looked at instead. LU have also said that the current steps to reduce weekend working will continue after the 2015-2019 pay deal expires. Additionally, the company has reportedly agreed to allow three drivers per depot to move to "pro-rata four-day working", on top of existing agreements.