Central line

Noise ballot success

Submitted by Tubeworker on Tue, 10/09/2019 - 16:08

RMT Drivers on the Northern, Central, Victoria and Jubilee lines have returned a yes vote for action short of strike due to excessive track noise.

Tubeworker congratulates the workers who voted YES and bizarrely those who voted NO. Without them the ballot would not have made it over the ridiculous 50% threshold that the Trade Union Act imposes on unions.

Since the issue was first raised miraculously management say they have found an extra £10 million to "tackle the issue". Why they couldn't see problems with the Pandrol Vanguard system in the first place we don't know. Either way workers should not have to endure track noise any longer.

Tubeworker says the RMT should start the slow down in noisy sections immediately. Neither drivers of passengers should be suffering any longer. Station staff can use the opportunity to explain exactly why the service is being disrupted, and this kind of action will be very disruptive, lets use the opportunity to push the bosses back and put safety first.

RMT suspends strikes on Vic and Central

Submitted by Tubeworker on Wed, 04/09/2019 - 13:48

RMT has suspended a drivers' strike planned for today on the Victoria and Central Lines.

The company has budged in talks at Acas, offering some concessions. On the Victoria Line, where issues related to overbearing managers pushing drivers around, the company has committed to a series of workshops to try to improve relations. As the dispute is still live, the union can go back to Acas, and potentially reinstate action, if things don't improve on the ground.

On the Central Line the concessions are slightly more concrete, with the company committing to maintain staffing levels at 20 above minimum numbers, which works out to 17 additional jobs. These should all be in place within a few months; with many of the problems on the line stemming from short-staffing, securing this concession is a real step forward, and one that would simply not have been gained without calling the strike.

Some caution is required, however. We've been here before, on the Piccadilly Line, when a strike last summer was suspended after bosses promised similar concessions, only to be reinstated in September when it became clear the company had little intention of implementing its agreement.

Clearly, the point of calling strikes isn't to have a strike, and lose money, for the sake of it, but to extract concessions from the management. If such concessions are extracted, there's a reasonable case for suspending planned action. But when we know from experience that LU has a somewhat casual attitude to actually abiding by its own agreements, we also need to consider whether it's necessary to remind bosses of our power to stop the job. In this instance, the union has decided to give the company the benefit of the doubt. If that proves to have been misjudged, new strike dates must be named, and followed through on.

Tubeworker topics

Drivers: vote yes for action over noise levels!

Submitted by Tubeworker on Tue, 27/08/2019 - 17:45

RMT is balloting all driver members, including Night Tube drivers, on the Jubilee, Central, Northern and Victoria lines, for industrial action against excessive noise levels, which have become intolerable.

The problem is caused by the "Pandrol Vanguard" system LU installed to reduce track noise for people living above and next to the tracks; fair enough, except the system has the effect of forcing the noise into the train itself, leading to thunderous levels of noise in the driver's cab (and, indeed, in the carriages).

LU wants to issue drivers with ear defenders, but RMT is rightly insisting on a long-term engineering fix to sort the problem out properly. As LU won't agree to impose speed restrictions over the affected sections of track, which would alleviate the problem, it is entirely right for drivers to ballot in order to take things into our own hands and impose the speed restrictions ourselves.

The ballot opened today, Tuesday 27 August, and closes on 10 September. Use your vote, vote yes for action!

Strike dates adjusted on Victoria and Central lines

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 22/08/2019 - 14:54

The dates for the Central and Victoria Line strikes have been adjusted to 3-4 September (20:00 to 20:00), after reps and activists argued that the initial dates (29-30 August) would be less impactful.

Although altering dates after initially announcing them can be a bit of a messy business, it seems like the new dates will be more effective.

It’s a good lesson in why meetings of rank-and-file reps and activists should be the forum for making these decisions in the first place.

Tubeworker topics

All out on the Vic and Central!

Submitted by Tubeworker on Sun, 18/08/2019 - 22:22

Drivers on the Victoria and Central Lines are ready for action, with a strike due from 20:00 on Thursday 29 August to 20:00 on Friday 30 August. This will affect services all day on Friday.

These disputes follow a pattern we’ve seen elsewhere on the combine recently, including on the Piccadilly Line, where drivers struck last year. Depot bosses are throwing their weight around, misapplying and breaching company procedure, and generally treating drivers in an authoritarian and heavy-handed way.

As the general picture is common across multiple depots, it’s good the strikes are being coordinated on two lines. There is a question mark over whether a single day’s strike on a Friday is the most effective or impactful action that could’ve been called: the next step should be to escalate action by striking for longer, including bringing out Night Tube drivers, and to look for opportunities to spread disputes to other lines.

Tubeworker topics

Action needed over noise levels

Submitted by Tubeworker on Wed, 03/07/2019 - 11:43

RMT is considering a ballot of driver members on five lines - Victoria, Central, Northern, Jubilee, and Piccadilly - over noise levels.

LU has installed “Pandrol Vanguard” technology on the tracks in an attempt to reduce train noise at street level... with the effect that noise is forced into the cab and cars, affecting drivers and passengers.

This fix is not good enough. We want a proper engineering solution, and in the meantime a temporary speed restriction in place over affected areas to reduce noise.

If LU won’t agree to that, industrial action short of strikes to drive at reduced speed over affected track will be necessary.

Cash for Access?

Submitted by Tubeworker on Mon, 01/07/2019 - 08:57

It's lovely to see the sparkling new improved westbound access ramp at South Woodford station. We are all in favour of improved access for mobility-impared people and people encumbered with luggage or buggies.

Shame that in its wisdom, LUL has installed BANK CARD ONLY ticket machines in the new entrance, forcing any mobility-impared people to have to make an arduous trip via a deep subway over to the eastbound booking hall and back again if they want or need to pay with cash. This assumes of course that the machines on the eastbound are actually in working order.

It seems that once again, efficient extraction of money is a higher priority for the company than accessibility.

Central Line fight needs strikes

Submitted by Tubeworker on Tue, 28/05/2019 - 17:18

Central Line drivers in RMT recently returned a thumping majority for new strikes in a long-running dispute against bullying bosses. Click here for our report from the time.

So far, no action has been called. It's been over a month. Many drivers are starting to ask why. The dispute hasn’t been resolved, and the exceptional turnout and high majority for strikes in the ballot shows there is a mood to fight. So why hasn’t the union named dates?

Strikes need to be named as soon as possible.

Tubeworker topics

Central Line drivers vote for strikes

Submitted by Tubeworker on Sat, 30/03/2019 - 13:53

Forced to re-ballot due to the stipulations of the anti-union laws, RMT drivers on the Central Line have smashed the thresholds required by those laws and delivered another massive vote for strikes. West Ruislip depot led the way in percentage terms, with 96% of drivers voting for strikes on a 96% turnout!

The dispute is over what the union calls "a breakdown in industrial relations". In other words, that means an out-of-control management arbitrarily wielding petty discipline and managing drivers in an unnecessarily heavy-handed way.

Following this new vote, those bosses can be in no doubt of the strength of feeling in the depot. And they certainly won't be when drivers strike and stop the job.

LUL's Shameful Treatment of Assault Victim

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 21/02/2019 - 13:57

The Employment Tribunal had some choice words for London Underground Ltd as it found the company to have unfairly dismissed Sharma Jagrup after he was assaulted at work. The Tribunal has ordered LUL to reinstate Sharma to his CSS2 post on the Central Line, with all his back pay and pension contributions restored.

LUL chose to sack Sharma just three months after he was assaulted by by a group of around twenty people, and while he was still dealing with the impact on his mental health. The company didn't bother with redeployment or alternative duties. We look forward to LUL 's next 'mental health awareness' campaign.

The judgment is a damning indictment not just of the managers involved but of LUL as a company. And it vindicates the unions and their activists and members who have been demanding for a long time that the company show proper care to victims of violence instead of the dismissive and victim-blaming response that we usually see.

In particular, LUL must urgently reconsider - and drop - its outrageous disciplinary action against Zahra Tirmazi.

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