With much fanfare and a fair amount of press coverage, the new Northern line extension stations Nine Elms and Battersea (aka Battersea Power Station... station) have now opened.
All things new attract attention, and we welcome the opening of new stations. But once the media attention fades, these stations will continue to be workplaces for hundreds of workers. Staff facilities, however shiny and bespoke, have to actually meet staff needs. Familiarisations need to be thorough and leave staff with full confidence that they know what they're doing in an emergency. Reps for both station staff and drivers have raised several concerns; for example, the extremely complex emergency escape routes at Nine Elms could pose a safety risk. And the mess room appears to have been fitted with only one spare plug socket, making it difficult for staff to charge work iPads.
It’s easy to get swayed by the cacophony of a new thing but workers must not be afraid to ask questions and make challenges. How these new stations operate really matters and staff must feel at the centre of that; if you have concerns about your workplace, speak up! Speak to a rep and get active in your local union branch.