How cuts will hit diversity and equality

Submitted by Tubeworker on Tue, 05/27/2014 - 13:46

LU makes much of its reputation as an employer which promotes “diversity” and “equality”. But its real record is poor, and “Fit for the Future – Stations” job cuts look set to undo any advances made during the last decade.

Cuts will adversely affect every stations worker. But workers already facing inequality, such as women, black and ethnic minority, and disabled workers, will face particular negative consequences. Cuts will damage LU’s diversity. We must make sure we expose the truth about its record as an employer, and fight these cuts, which will lead to greater inequality.

Here is Tubeworker's guide to how the cuts will hit different groups of workers. This text can also be downloaded as an A3 poster by clicking here.

Women workers

London’s population is over 50% female, but on LU, we’re only 16%! This stems from:
• Sexist tradition: the railway seen as a “man’s job”.
• LU’s failure to accommodate shift work around childcare, which women still predominantly do. Unlike our shifts, childcare is not available 24/7. But LU often makes arguments along the lines of: “your child is not our problem”, or “you signed up for shift work” as a get-out to avoid helping.

Compare the number of women in full-time to part-time jobs. 59% of part-time station supervisors are women, in contrast to a meagre 15% full-time. 100% of part-time Duty Station Managers are female compared to 27% full-time. This shows a higher representation of women is possible where shifts fit round childcare, although forcing women to take a pay cut to part-time increases pay inequality.

LU's plans:

• Abolish approx.80% of part time jobs, which women predominantly occupy.
• Abolish the grade with the highest female representation, ticket seller (28% women). To maintain salary ticket sellers will have to work nights as a “Customer Service Supervisor 2”.
• Will force huge displacements, which will impact on people with caring responsibilities.
• Introduce less family-friendly rosters with fewer weekends off and night work for more grades.

Equality for women will deteriorate, when it’s long overdue an improvement.

Black and Ethnic Minority (BEM) workers

• The proportion of LU’s workers who are BEM (29.4%) is smaller than the proportion of BEM Londoners (40+%). On stations, BEM staff comprise 39.2% of staff.
• Over the past three years, there has been a decrease in the proportion of BEM staff across TfL.
• On LU, there is a shocking contrast between the number of BEM job applicants and the number recruited — 44.2% BEM applicants, but only 28.9% appointed in 2012/13. A similarly low number of BEM staff achieve promotion (32% in 2012/13).

LU’s plans:

• Abolish the stations grade with the highest concentration of BEM workers (SAMF).
• Reduce jobs and therefore promotion opportunities. LU’s figures for recent promotion of BEM candidates do not inspire us with hope.

Disabled workers

16% of working age Londoners identify as having a disability, yet LU classifies only 1.88% of staff (and 2.9% of station staff) as “disabled”. This stems from:
• The abolition of positions for medically-restricted staff in the past.
• The “redeployment” process, which too often pushes staff with long term medical problems out of employment.
• Job cuts. LU’s last major reorganisation, the OSP in 2010, reduced the percentage of disabled staff in LU. Job cuts lead to less diversity.

The percentage of disabled staff achieving promotion has been lower than the percentage of disabled staff employed by LU over the last three years, indicating itis harder for disabled staff to get promoted.

LU's plans:

• Abolish many “seated roles”, such as ticket seller and replace them with supervisor jobs requiring greater mobility.
• LU refuses to guarantee that staff with medical restrictions or reasonable adjustments will be accommodated if they cannot meet the requirements of their new role
• LU has said it will pay “voluntary severance” to staff it will not accommodate, but how is the severance “voluntary” if the company is failing to accommodate them? This is effectively forcing disabled staff out of the door.

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