Stop Job Cuts

Defend RCI jobs!

Published on: Wed, 13/11/2019 - 11:44

Unions have long been pressing LU to fill the vacancies in the revenue department, which have gone unfilled for over a decade. The point has also been made that there may be some connection between the £90 million the company says it loses in lost revenue and the fact that it has deliberately understaffed the revenue department.

Recent spikes in workplace violence have brought the issue to a head, with many workers arguing that an increase in RCI numbers would improve workplace safety.

LU has finally made a long-awaited announcement about a potential restructure in revenue; rather than filling the vacancies, it plans to effectively scrap RCI jobs by shipping in secondees from other grades on worse terms and conditions than existing RCIs.

This is yet another attack on stations, which demonstrates our bosses' lackadaisical attitude to our safety.

While Tubeworker would ultimately like to see a free public transport system, funded by taxing the rich, until we get there, revenue collection will be necessary, and properly trained and licensed LU RCIs are an infinitely better option for improving workplace safety than relying on the BTP or, worse, private security guards.

Plans are already afoot for an industrial response, and the issue certainly needs to be taken up as part of any developing dispute over station staffing and workplace safety.

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Transformation ballot halted

Published on: Tue, 23/07/2019 - 11:22

RMT’s ballot of workers in engineering, signals, and other departments to fight Transformation job cuts has been halted.

The result was due back on 16 July, but the union pulled the ballot before the announcement. The official reason is that RMT plans to expand the number of workers balloted.

Large ballots are difficult to win, but as the recent example from the fleet dispute against extended train prep shows, it can be done.

The ballot should be resumed as soon as possible.

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Demonstrate at City Hall!

Published on: Tue, 18/06/2019 - 12:00

RMT has called a demo outside City Hall on Thursday 20 June. It demands “no Tory cuts under a Labour mayor”, pressing Sadiq Khan not to pass on Tory austerity to transport workers and users in London.

The two specific focuses are the “Transformation” scheme, which threatens thousands of jobs in engineering and admin roles, and the struggles of outsourced workers.

The demo assembles from 10:00. Tubeworker will be there, and we hope you will be too.

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Fleet workers win train prep fight

Published on: Wed, 15/05/2019 - 09:13


You can almost hear the grinding of gritted teeth...


Industrial action by LU Fleet workers, and the threat of a three-day strike from 17-20 May, has forced LU bosses into an embarrassing climb-down over their plans to extend train prep schedules. An Employee Bulletin announced the bosses' defeat on 14 May, with the company saying it had "decided not to change the frequencies" of train checks.

Quite simply, the company has caved in, for the very simple reason that fleet workers would have stopped the job if they hadn't! It's trade unionism in action: workers organising to exercise our democratic right to withdraw our labour to defend our conditions at work.

It's good that RMT has not settled the dispute with the company over this matter, which means we will still be able to strike, or take further action, at two weeks' notice if the company tries to bring the plans back in some other form over the next six months.

Hopefully we can use the momentum from this victory to spur us on in other fights, including the fight against "Transformation" job cuts and over LU pay/conditions.

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Wot no Night Cleaners?

Published on: Mon, 13/05/2019 - 21:47

Station staff in sefveral locations have been shocked to find out that the number of night cleaners on their station has been cut, without any notice or discussion.

And the cleaners involved have been told - often verbally, at just one day's notice - that there is no more work for them.

Under instruction from the Mayor and TfL, cleaning contractor ABM is reducing its use of agencies. But the point, surely, is to replace reliance on agencies with directly employing cleaners. Instead, seeing the opportunity to cut costs and boost profits, ABM is reducing reliance on agencies by ... sacking the agency cleaners.

This leaves cleaners suddenly out of work, and stations desperately under-staffed, including, for example, Brixton and Highbury and Islington stations reduced to just one cleaner on nights.

We can stop this appalling attack if we challenge it on three fronts - cleaners fighting the job cuts, station staff fighting the loss of cleaners, and all of us raising it as a political issue, demanding that our Labour Mayor intervene to stop this.

RMT activists are already going into action; the more of us join this campaigning, the better our chances of success.

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A year of unstaffed stations!

Published on: Sat, 30/03/2019 - 14:03

A recent Freedom of Information request lodged by the RMT revealed that Tube stations were left unstaffed for a cumulative total of 7,500 hours across the whole network in 2018, the equivalent of 312 days.

LU's now infamous claim that "all stations will be staffed, from first to last trains" lies in absolute tatters.

Tube users who don't want to use or travel through unstaffed stations, where there's no-one to ask for help and no-one to assist in an incident, should support Tube workers in our industrial and political campaigns for a reversal of job cuts, better funding, and fully-staffed Tube.

Tubeworker topics

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"Transformation" rolls on: strikes can stop it in its tracks

Published on: Sat, 30/03/2019 - 13:56

As part of the latest phase of the TfL/LUL "Transformation" programme, management has announced sweeping job cuts in Track Access Control, Power Control, Service Control, LUCC, Skills Development, Waste, Pumps, Stations Building & Civils, and Signals Incidents.

Workers who play a vital role in maintaining the safe running of the Tube could see their jobs deleted and find themselves redeployed or forced out of the door.

Unions were hampered in fighting the previous stage of "Transformation", that saw stations admin jobs slashed, partially due to a low density of membership but partially also due to a sluggishness in terms of mobilising a campaign on the shopfloor beyond the negotiations.

We need to learn from that this time. Union density in the affected areas this time is higher, which should put us in a better position to fight back. The cuts have been announced; we must resist. Ballot for strikes now!

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Bring the Jobs Fights Together!

Published on: Fri, 08/02/2019 - 14:40

Many grades in many locations are suffering under the destaffing over recent years, or are facing imminent cuts to jobs.

The unions - primarily RMT - are fighting back on several fronts. RMT has scored some successes, including on Bakerloo South stations groups and the cleaning contractor, ABM.

Now, more stations groups are going into action, and the union is gearing up for battles against a 2009 agreement on trains that restricts depot staffing levels, and threatened cuts to train prep.

Moreover, other issues under dispute - for example, the ludicrous red tabards, or unacceptable rosters or ticketing problems - are rooted in staff shortages.

Our fightback will be stronger if we fight the roots cause rather than just the symptoms. The more we can bring these disparate disputes together, the better.

This might be easier said than done, particularly since the imposition of difficult-to-reach ballot thresholds by the 2016 Trade Union Act, but with the will and the effort, it can be done. And even if we don't feel ready to call everyone out on strike yet, we can synchronise ballots and actions in different areas.

Moreover, the root cause has a root cause too, as under-staffing is the result of under-funding. Tubeworker would like to see our unions campaign more stridently against the government's cut to TfL's funding and TfL's failure to fight that cut.

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Prepare for action in train prep fight

Published on: Fri, 28/12/2018 - 09:47

RMT has now declared an official dispute with LU over its plans to cut train prep frequency from 24 hours.

The plan, which could see trains run for up to three days without having basic checks performed, threatens staff safety, passenger safety, and jobs, and must be resisted.

If LU doesn’t back down from the planned cut, we must fight back industrially, and across all grades.

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Stations admin “transformation” brings chaos

Published on: Tue, 24/07/2018 - 13:13

It’s day one of the newly “transformed” stations admin, and the chaos we all predicted is unfolding nicely.

Workers report being bounced around from place to place, with no clarity on whether things like mutual changeover of duties need to be submitted in hard copy or electronically.

The admins themselves are under immense strain, with some who didn’t make the grade for the new positions being asked by an obviously desperate management to stay on and help them wade through the mess!

The bulletin that went round from management said, “support will be provided Monday to Friday, 09:00-17:00”, which is super helpful if you’re a Night Tube worker or weekend part-timer.

The new system works for no-one... except the budget-botherers in senior management who are only concerned with cutting costs.

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