Rail unions

Fantasy Union of Rail and Transport Workers

What kind of union do we need? There are strengths and weaknesses in our current union set-up. Union officials will often have you believe that things can only be done the way they are done, because ... well, because they have always been done that way.

We do not agree. We have several criticisms of the existing rail unions, so it is only fair that we set out in more positive terms what our ideal union might look like. Let's call it the Fantasy Union of Rail and Transport Workers (FURT).

What kind of union do we need? There are strengths and weaknesses in our current union set-up. Union officials will often have you believe that things can only be done the way they are done, because ... well, because they have always been done that way. We do not agree. We have several criticisms of the existing rail unions, so it is only fair that we set out in more positive terms what our ideal union might look like. Let's call it the Fantasy Union of Rail and Transport Workers (FURT).

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore, Dale Street, Gemma Short and Charlotte Zalens

London Underground has announced its schedule for closing every ticket office on the Tube, starting from early 2015.

It has done this despite the publication of a passenger survey conducted by independent watchdog London TravelWatch which shows the strength of public opposition to the closures.

Tube ticket office closures; Shelter staff to strike; Waterloo cleaners walk out; London bus drivers balloted over pay.

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Tubeworker 26/11/14 — Vote Eamonn Lynch for RMT Executive!

An industrial bulletin by London Underground workers, for London Underground workers.

This issue includes updates on the reinstatement campaigns for Vicky Hayward, Noel Roberts, and Alex McGuigan, a critique of Ukip's anti-working-class, racist politics, an interview with RMT Executive candidate Eamonn Lynch (and reasons why you should vote for him), plus your local and workplace stories.

Click here to download the PDF.

An industrial bulletin by London Underground workers, for London Underground workers.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short and Charlotte Zalens

Following a re-ballot which returned 83% in favour of strikes on a 58% turn out, Lambeth College UCU will be on their first day of new strikes on Thursday 4 December.

The dispute is over changes to contracts which see two weeks cut off annual holidays, a massive reduction in sick pay entitlement, and extra hours of teaching with no extra pay. UCU members at Lambeth college were re-balloted following a court injunction against their previous indefinite strike plan.

Lambeth College walkout; stop Academies in Lewisham; Tube strikes for sacked workmate; QEH strikers in talks.

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Violence is not "part of the job"

Author: 

Becky Crocker

25 November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Both the International Transport Workers’ Federation and the European Transport Workers’ Federation have publicly marked this day and raised the profile of their ongoing campaigns to tackle violence and harassment against women who work in the transport industry. The UK Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will mark this year’s day with a meeting for all women trade unionists and allies.

Women in the transport industry face harassment and violence, women workers in the RMT are organising against this.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Charlotte Zalens, Ollie Moore, Gareth Devonport and Gemma Short

Cleaners working for contractor Interserve at Waterloo station struck on 17-18 November after a manager claimed “we shouldn’t be employing black people.”

The strikes follow earlier action on 10-11 November, and a further 24 hour strike has been called starting at 3pm on 21 November.

The RMT union says bosses have refused to address the allegation through agreed procedures. The union also says Interserve has underpaid wages, as well as victimising, bullying and harassing staff.

Waterloo cleaners walk out over racism; victimisation on Tube; Northern Rail pay dispute; Haringey teachers strike as NUT rep remains suspended.

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Tube jobs fight

Since November 2013, London Underground workers have been fighting a management cuts plan that could see hundreds of jobs slashed and every ticket office on the network close.

Strikes in February and April, as well as overtime bans and other industrial action, along with the threat of further strikes, have pushed management back. They have been forced to delay the implementation of their cuts until early 2016, and make a number of concessions to the RMT (the only Tube union which has consistently fought the cuts).

Since November 2013, London Underground workers have been fighting a management cuts plan that could see hundreds of jobs slashed and every ticket office on the network close.

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Northern Rail workers vote on pay deal

ASLEF members at Northern Rail have voted to take strike action over pay. The result was 82.2% voting Yes on an 82% turnout.

The union met the company's management on 17 November, where the company offered a further 0.3% in year one of the deal, plus commitments on "retention" talks for drivers. On 18 November, as Off The Rails went to press the union's Executive Committee had resolved to hold a referendum on this offer, with full details promised with the voting paper.

ASLEF members at Northern Rail have voted to take strike action over pay. The result was 82.2% voting Yes on an 82% turnout.

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Northern Rail drivers: fight DOO!

Traincrew on Northern Rail and, presumably, in other TOCs/FOCs will have seen the blue rectangular stickers in driving cabs bearing the ASLEF and British Transport Police emblems.

These stickers give a list of steps that a driver should take in the event of their train striking a person. The list includes obvious things like contacting the signaller and the BTP “Fatality Hotline”. What it does not include is that the driver should inform the guard.

Traincrew on Northern Rail and, presumably, in other TOCs/FOCs will have seen the blue rectangular stickers in driving cabs bearing the ASLEF and British Transport Police emblems.

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