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.
By management's figures, even after these displacements, they will be 24 drivers over numbers at Leytonstone, Hainault and Loughton combined - so if they get away with this first wave, there could well be more to follow.
So it's good to see RMT balloting drivers at all three depots for strikes and action short, and we are confident that there will be a strong Yes vote. In the absence of an ASLEF ballot (perhaps the Society is less concerned because the drivers directly affected are the more junior drivers, mostly RMT members), we hope that ASLEF members will respect RMT picket lines.
Management are punishing drivers for a problem of their - and the (previous) Mayor's - making. There are "too many" drivers in some locations because the company began recruiting drivers for Night Tube before reaching agreement with the unions as to how it was to be staffed: it recruited full-time drivers, but was then forced by union action to staff Night Tube with specific, part-time staff so as not to add more night turns to full-time drivers' rosters. When the surplus drivers were placed in depots, they didn't expect to be moved again a few years later!
And there are "too few" drivers at other depots because management will not allow the 35 station staff who have passed interviews and assessments for driver to proceed with the training and take up the posts.
Management claim that they can do this under existing agreements - but just because they can do it does not mean that they have to. And if they can try to displace drivers, then we can fight them! Feelings are strong among drivers on the east end of the Central line, as no-one wants to see their workmates treated like this.
Finally, particularly as the issue of displacements is one of the aspects of the Fit for the Future - Stations dispute, co-ordinating action in the two disputes will make both more effective.