Northern line

Don't Bully Our Cleaners!

At Angel station, a Station Supervisor accused a cleaner of neglecting their duties. The cleaner got an RMT rep, who proved that there was little basis for his allegations.

Now, the next time the cleaner goes in with the union to see management, it will not be a disciplinary hearing against the cleaner, but an investigation into whether the supervisor harassed the cleaner.

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Flood Water

While staff dealt with the effects of the heavy downpour a couple of weeks back, the GSM showed up at Golders Green station. Great - some people would say that managers never show up when the proverbial hits the fan, but Tubeworker won't have a bar of it.

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Rushing Through Re-Licensing

We were recently telling you about under-staffing causing problems with getting drivers re-licensed. Seems this affects other grades too.

Out on the Barkingside group, managers have been trying it on with staff, telling them that the company has "done away with" the requirement for 28 days' notice of ATOR and claiming that now you only need 5 days'.

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Spurious OPO Alarms

The tragic death of a Northern line driver highlights the important problem of spurious OPO alarms.

The OPO alarm is a crucial warning to the controller that something may have happened to a driver, but Northern line controllers receive so many spurious alarms that they are inevitably taken less seriously.

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Looking Good?

At Morden depot, management have come up with another cracking scheme to boost the morale of the workers. Now when you book on, you can look (well, you can hardly avoid looking) at yourself in a mirror, adorned with the words 'Looking Good'. No doubt, management imagine the professional driver slicking back their hair, straightening their tie, muttering 'hello handsome' to themselves and going to pick up their train with a spring in their step.

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Pestered in the Privy

LUL prides itself on its 'Dignity at Work' policy promising you decent toilet facilities - you know, regularly cleaned, enough bog roll, etc.

It's a shame that this policy doesn't seem to extend to the right to relieve yourself free from being nagged about SPADs. Yes, at Morden depot, sit down for a PNR and you'll find yourself staring at a SPAD poster. Can't we get a minute's peace?!

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Working Late

Drivers' duties for the new Northern Line timetable are rubbish. There are a significant number of duties which have 4hrs15 on one half, or very close to it - which given the regularity with which the Northern Line runs late, means that people doing these duties will almost inevitably go over hours.

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Gutter Press

The Evening Standard has run an extraordinary campaign of persecution against sacked Northern line driver Robert Rankin. They even sent reporters to his house, and when they failed to heed his requests to leave and he allegedly tried to persuade them with a bucket of water, they reckoned that deserved the front page headline. (In case you are tempted to pass harsh judgement on Robert, think how you would feel if the Standard doorstepped you and your family when you had just lost your livelihood.)

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BTP: Always there when you (don't) need them

Station staff discovered on the strike days that the BTP turn up much more promptly to a picket line than they do to an assault on staff. At least some of them have the good grace to look embarrassed when they turn up just because LUL management told their bosses to tell them to.

Apparently, the plods who visited the Stockwell picket went away clutching RMT leaflets and knowing a lot more about the justice of our case. Still, the words “Stockwell”, “police” and “justice” don’t sit together too well. Just ask the family of Jean Charles de Menezes.

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Another Rank-and-File Bulletin

We are pleased to tell you that Tubeworker is not the only "unofficial", rank-and-file publication backing the strikes and keeping the workforce informed.

Activists on the Kennington/Oval group have produced 'frontline', which has a particularly good line in belittling scabs, exposing safety scandals and cutting management down to size. To quote: "Contributors speak for themselves only. Any display of a contemptuous disgust at a morally bankrupt, spineless, inept management or their fawning, obsequious, sycophantic, vermin-like following, clambering over the still-warm bodies of their friends and colleagues to snatch a third stripe, is purely intentional and entirely welcomed."

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Northern line latest: drivers to ballot for action

Today's press release from RMT is copied below.

Yesterday's press release from ASLEF is here. Since the issuing of this press release, the deadline has passed, and ASLEF has held a joint press conference with RMT where both unions announced their intention to ballot for action.

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Northern line braking system fails again

Flippin' 'eck, it's happened again. Last night, the Northern Line's emergency braking system failed for the fourth time in fourth weeks.

When the braking system failed on 9 September, the company introduced double-crewing of trains. But for who-knows-what reason (surely not cost? or fear of criticism for having to cancel trains?), they dropped it after one day, and have still not resumed it even after three further failures.

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What Are They On?

When a Morden Train Maintainer with 30 years' service was sacked recently, something very ominous came to light. It seems that Alstom and TubeLines now have a policy to D&A test staff as part of their annual relicensing.

Underground employers already have the power to test us post incident, for cause, and unannounced. So this extra testing round is not about keeping people bright-eyed and sober, but about keeping us under an ever-more-authoritarian thumb.

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