RMT members on Fleet are gearing up for a battle to defend their working agreements, which LU are trying to erode. RMT has declared an official dispute, and is preparing a ballot for industrial action.
LU has outsourced the airbag replacement programme on the S-Stock to external contractors Bombardier and JMac, in a clear breach of the "Core Work Agreement", which sets limits on the amount and types of work that can be done by contractors. LU are now playing fast and loose with its definitions, saying it now believes all warranty work - i.e., practically anything at all! - can be done by Bombardier staff. LU has also failed to honour an agreement to take S-Stock shoe gear inspections, which were carried out by Bombardier staff on a trial basis, back in house if the trial inspections failed to resolve the issue.
As ever, our attitude should be: sack the agencies, not the workers! We want all work on LU - whether that's inspections or maintenance on Fleet, or cleaning on stations, or anything else - to be done by directly-employed, properly-trained LU staff.
LU's attempts to casualise, outsource, and de-skill the job on Fleet mirror similar attempts elsewhere. On stations, cleaning has long been outsourced, and ticketing work has also now been effectively de-skilled (CSAs, paid £30k and given just a few days' training, are now doing work previously done by SAMFs, paid £36k and with weeks of training).
Tube workers in all other functions and areas should stand shoulder to shoulder with our colleagues on Fleet in their fight to defend agreements and direct employment!