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Central Line drivers to strike against displacements

After a resounding vote in favour of action, RMT drivers at Hainault, Leytonstone, and Loughton Traincrew Depots will strike from 21:00 on Wednesday 25 January to 20:59 on Thursday 26.

They're striking against displacements; Tubeworker previously covered the dispute here (if you're reading this article on a platform that doesn't include hyperlinks, the URL is:

We need strong pickets at all depots, and we hope Aslef members will respect them.

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Wot No Car Park?

Staff who use Tottenham Hale's station car park have been shocked and angered to find that it has closed - and that management have known about this for ages but told them with only a week's notice.

The excuse is that the space is needed for taxis due to the Tottenham Hale Upgrade Project. Apparently, the combined imaginations of all the planners, managers and contract bosses involved in the upgrade could not come up with any possible plan that would retain the 12 parking spaces for LUL staff.

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Mayor Khan, The Scab's Friend

This week saw thousands of London Underground workers striking to fight for more jobs on the tube to improve safety; following tube bosses reckless decision to cut nearly 900 jobs. Meanwhile London Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan was calling this fight "completely pointless," peddling dodgy statistics on how much of the service was running and praising scabs who failed to keep the service going.

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After historic strike, let's maintain momentum!

Yesterday's strike of station and revenue staff was historic. We showed that we have immense power when we stand together. Our strike shut down central London, putting immense pressure on the employer and exposing the depths of their staffing crisis.

Lively pickets were mounted at stations across London, with TSSA reps and activists joining their RMT colleagues (despite TSSA's last-minute wobble!). With unity in the dispute maintained, the logic points towards one industrial union for all Tube workers.

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Pickets are in confident mood this morning, as the most effective station staff strike in memory cranks up the pressure on management.

With hardly any trains running and few Section 12 stations open, management can not remain in denial about how strongly staff of all grades feel about the stripping away of staff from stations. The pressure is now on the company and the Mayor to make good the damage of Fit for the Future - Stations.

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"New offer"? Hardly. Support the strikes!

Hastily-convened 11th-hour talks between LU and the unions in the station staffing dispute produced an interesting development today.

Under the leadership of their General Secretary Manuel Cortes, TSSA suddenly sought private talks with the company, fracturing the unity that had existed thus far.

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When is "500" not "500"? When it's 150.

LU's bulletin issued following the conclusion of Acas talks (see below) is completely misleading. Their headline figure is that they "will recruit 500 new staff into stations this year", but as they admit immediately afterwards, only 150 of these will be additional. 350 of the jobs will be the natural turnover that LU always recruits to cover natural wastage (people retiring or leaving the job, moving jobs, being promoted, etc.).

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Stations, revenue, Central Line west end drivers: see you on the picket lines!

With Acas talks in the station staffing dispute ending without any new offer from the company, the joint RMT/TSSA strike on stations is on for 8-9 January.

Striking alongside station and revenue staff will be Central Line drivers at White City and West Ruislip depots, who are taking action aimed at winning the reinstatement of their unfairly sacked colleague Dean Storey.

Withdrawing our labour is the most fundamental and effective weapon we have as workers; let's use it!

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Wot No Taxis?

The staff taxi service on Christmas Eve night was a disgrace.

Lots of staff were left standing in the dark and cold for up to several hours, waiting for cabs that didn't arrive, making phone calls and being repeatedly fobbed off. It's just good luck that (as far as we know) nobody was badly assaulted.

Hell No, We Won't Go

This week, twelve drivers at Leytonstone and Hainault have received letters displacing them from their depots from January, eight of them to Earls Court. Imagine being at one of these depots, thinking it was your permanent location, then finding that you were expected to travel an extra two hours a day to get to and from work - that's ten hours a week stolen from your life.

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Passenger Information - it's in your interest to support the fightback!

As London Underground's short-staffing is exposed dramatically by our overtime ban, stations are closing left, right and centre. We can strengthen our fightback by ensuring that passengers and Londoners know exactly why this is happening.

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Yes, We Want To Get Rid Of The Tories!

On the day when Donald Trump misspelt "unprecedented" and had thousands of Twitter users telling him that they wished he would be #unpresidented, the RMT president Sean Hoyle was under attack from the Tory press for saying the unions should campaign to get rid of the Tories.

We say he is right. We should try and get rid of the Tory government.

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Station and revenue staff: all out for 8-9 January! Make this the opening salvo!

RMT and TSSA have named strikes of stations and revenue members, from 18:00 on 8 January to 17:59 on 9 January.

Naming strikes now, rather than waiting to see how things played out in talks in early January, is absolutely the right thing to do. Reps and activists had been calling for strikes to be named, and it's good that union leaderships have listened.

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Tube drivers to join Christmas 2016 strike wave

Central Line drivers: strike against unjust sacking! LU must reinstate Dean Storey!

Dean is a well liked driver on the Central Line, unfairly sacked by a not-well-liked manager. It was clear what would happen. His union balloted and the result was a strong yes for industrial action. Drivers at Central line West depots will strike on 24 December and 9 January to demand his reinstatement.

Dean passed a signal at danger in a depot he hadn’t been in for a long time and applied a procedure not suitable to that location. He made a mistake in an unfamiliar location. Anyone could've had had done it. The answer is to provide more training, not a sacking.

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Who's Who On Stations?

Tubeworker HQ has received reports that construction contractors working at TCR have been getting involved in congestion control and redirecting passengers.

Isn't this another illustration of the staffing crisis on stations? Presumably the contractors are doing this because there aren't enough CSAs. Shouldn't LU station staff, based permanently at the station, be managing congestion and directing passengers through the works? We don't report this to have a pop at the contractors, we have no doubt they'd rather be getting on with their own jobs!

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TfL Ambassadors: Don't Undermine Your Colleagues!

As our overtime ban keeps forcing station closures, here's LU's latest wheeze: begging "TfL Ambassadors" (aka "the pink hi-vi brigade") who hold limited stations licenses, to work shifts. Scandalously, they're offering them more money than CSAs get paid, including uplifts for night shifts which Night Tube staff don't get.

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Picc/H&C Strikes Suspended. Christmas Working and Dean Storey Ballots Still On: Vote Yes!

RMT suspended strikes planned on the Piccadilly and Hammersmith and City Lines, after management made significant concessions in Acas talks.

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The overtime ban is biting. Major stations including Temple, St. James's Park, Earl's Court, and Bond Street have all closed. Dozens of other stations have had partial closures or been left unstaffed.

LU's online updates continue to use the ridiculous formulation "absence of staff" to explain closures, as if we simply haven't turned up or have got lost on the way to work! Most CSMs and CSSs have been translating this nonsensical management-speak when they make their stations PAs, and using the more accurate "lack of staff" or "staff shortage" to explain the closures.

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Reinstate Dean Storey!

RMT is balloting drivers at West Ruislip and White City depots for strikes to win Dean Storey his job back.

Dean had a SPAD at White City, but was unjustly sacked after a perfunctory CDI dismissed or ignored the many mitigating factors Dean's union reps raised.

Every union activists, and most LU workers who've ever faced company discipline, will recognise the story: a management that seems to have made up its mind before the disciplinary interview is even held, with no meaningful consideration given to mitigating factors and the result an apparent fait accompli.

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Picc and H&C Drivers: All Out On 6 December!

RMT has called strikes of drivers on the Picc and Hammersmith and City Lines for 6-7 December. They're facing similar issues - management abuse of procedures, arbitrary and authoritarian discipline, and, on the Picc in particular, victimisation of union reps.

All drivers, whichever union they're in, should participate in the strikes.

RMT stations reps are meeting on Monday 28 November to discuss their dispute; they should push the union to name strikes on stations to coordinate with the drivers.

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Flat Lining on the Picc

The Piccadilly line staggers through its most embarrassing leaf fall season with a fleet that's not fit for the present let alone the future.

Trains are unfit for service because of flats, a problem that always gets worse when leaves fall on open sections and wheels skid as a result. But this year it is significantly worse.

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Reasons to back the ban: figures show scandal of LU's overtime bill

RMT's overtime ban for stations and revenue staff kicks in at 00.01 tonight/tomorrow morning. TSSA's ballot, which closes on 29 November, is expected to see their members join the action. Locally, several TSSA reps have been urging their members to respect RMT's ban.

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No Interviews in Cabs

Bothered as they are about interviews taking drivers away from their precious time on the handle, management have a solution - do the interviews in the cab! Yep, they seem to think a manager can hop in and run through the questions while you sit at the controls.

We won't insult anyone's intelligence by listing the reasons why this is absurd and unacceptable. But don't think that just because it is absurd and unacceptable, the company won't do it if they think they can get away with it.

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Interserve's job cut hit station safety

Interserve's latest job cuts are affecting station safety. With weather issues such as rain, build up of leaves, and potential frost and ice beginning to affect open-section stations at this time of year, forcing one cleaner to clean up to four stations means vital cleaning isn't getting done.

If a passenger or members of staff is injured in an avoidable accident due to water or rubbish build up on a station, we need to make sure our unions place the blame squarely where it belongs: at the feet of Interserve and their disastrous job cuts policy.

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Added Bonus

A recent agreement on trains means that all drivers who volunteered to work New Year's Eve will be booked on as spares, and get the bonus, in addition to any Night Tube drivers who work their rostered duties.

It's good that more drivers are getting the bonus. But it raises questions about why it's only paid to one grade.

(For more on this issue, click here.)

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