Notting Hill Carnival weekend is upon us, and LU workers are looking forward to helping make one London's most important cultural institutions a success.
Big events like Carnival place extra demands on the Tube, and naturally that means hard work for us staff, especially SRT staff who'll be drafted into west London stations en masse to cope with the extra footfall.
Management hardly go out of their way to make us feel valued, though. As it's nearly impossible to get to any shops due to the Carnival crowds, staff are being provided with packed lunches - but if last year's are anything to go by, they'll be less than appetising. That's a small thing in the great scheme of things, and of course, LU isn't a catering company and doesn't specialise in food. But being given a soggy sandwich and an apple to keep you going through an incredibly tough shift when you can't buy any food for yourself doesn't make you feel especially appreciated.
Staff have also been reminded that anyone unable to work Carnival shifts for domestic or personal reasons will need to "provide evidence". No-one expects free rein to take the piss, but stern warnings about "evidence" could intimidate people with genuine issues that might prevent them from working into coming in out of fear that their "evidence" wouldn't come up to the company's standards, leading to greater stress and, in all probability, a worse performance on the job.
And after Carnival's over? We can undoubtedly expect another heartfelt message of thanks from some TfL bigwigs (like Peter Hendy's message after the Tour de France), while LU push merrily on with their job cuts. If management get their way, events like Carnival will suffer massively. With hundreds fewer staff, we'll be far worse equipped to meet the requirements of special events.