Attendance and Discipline

Piccadilly power wins justice for Sophie

Submitted by Tubeworker on Mon, 13/05/2019 - 22:18

We reported a couple of months back on LU's scandalous decision to hand Sophie Kyei-Donkoh, a Piccadilly Circus CSA, a 52-week warning for the "crime" of being abused by a member of the public (who was, in fact, a serial vexatious complainer).

Sophie's colleagues, through their local reps and RMT branch, organised to take a stand, and committed to balloting for industrial action if the warning remained.

Fortunately, management saw sense and the warning was rescinded on appeal.

It's a good reminder of what some basic trade union principles mean in practise: an injury to one is an injury to all, and unity is strength!

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.

Justice for Sophie!

Submitted by Tubeworker on Fri, 22/03/2019 - 18:46

Sophie Kyei-Donkoh, a CSA at Piccadilly Circus, was abused by an aggressive passenger, who makes serial vexatious complaints against staff. How did the company support her? With a 52-week disciplinary warning!

RMT members at Sophie’s station are rightly up in arms about this travesty. Prior to the decision, the union wrote to LU to tell them that there’d be a dispute should Sophie be disciplined.

The warning must be rescinded!

Ballot for Billing!

Submitted by Tubeworker on Fri, 22/03/2019 - 18:45

Station staff at Heathrow are gearing up to defend Harvinder Billing, a colleague sacked after two ticket office discrepancies.

Anyone who works in a ticket office knows how unreliable LU’s machines can be. We can’t stand by and watch our colleagues sacked for human error on an unreliable system on which we’re not properly trained.

It’s good to see Harvinder’s colleagues rally round.

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.

Issues and Campaigns

Fit for Nothing

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 24/01/2019 - 13:07

It has come to Tubeworker's attention that on some station groups, management have come up with a novel idea for dealing with the problem of not having CSMs available to carry out Return to Work interviews. They want staff to sign a statement that they are fit for duty and then have them crack on with work while the RTWI takes place days or even weeks later.

You don't have to be a genius to see what could go wrong here. What if you are not fit for your full duties? What if you are not sure whether you are? What happens when you make a mistake or have an accident? You signed the statement; you're responsible.

Management are trying to patch up their own short-staffing with this reckless gimmick. They are trying to shift responsibility from themselves to us. The unions must tell them to stop it. In the meantime, insist on your Return to Work Interview, and don't sign your rights away.

Wins for station staff at Baker Street and Bakerloo Line South

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 20/12/2018 - 18:00

Station staff at Baker Street and the Bakerloo Line South Cover Group are finishing 2018 on a high after the threat of strikes forced concessions from management.

At Baker Street, an unjustly sacked probationer was reinstated, and trumped up disciplinary charges against two staff, including the local RMT rep, were dropped after workers returned a big majority for industrial action.

On the Bakerloo South Group, which includes Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Charing Cross, Lambeth North, and Elephant and Castle, workers have forced a 180° u-turn from management on the issue of short staffing.

Management had been operating a policy of refusing to cover uncovered duties, citing budgetary concerns. A massive vote for action and the threat of a strike on Boxing Day forced a total climb down, with management committing in writing to cover all duties.

A second strike is planned for 14 January, which remains on as workers see if management keep to their word. It's important reps and activists keep a keen eye on management make sure they're enacting their commitments. And even if they behave themselves over the next two weeks, allowing for a possible suspension of January's strike, any backsliding must be met with action. The ballot mandate lasts until July, remember.

Notwithstanding this need to keep the pressure on to ensure commitments are met, these are both great results for station workers. Let’s spread the struggles!

Barking drivers plan strikes

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 20/12/2018 - 17:58

Aslef drivers at Barking depot on the Hammersmith and City Line will strike on 10 and 23 January, as yet another group of drivers encounters problems with depot management throwing their weight around and ignoring agreements.

Surely it’s time for a combine-wide drivers’ fight back against bullying bosses?

Central Line strikes off, but fight on the line must continue and spread

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 20/12/2018 - 17:13

RMT has suspended the strike of Central Line drivers planned for 21-22 December, which sought the reinstatement of sacked driver Paul Bailey, citing "new evidence" presented by management. The union's statement can be read here.

Whatever this "new evidence" is, it's something management have clearly been sitting on since the dispute began. Whether cock-up or conspiracy prevented them from releasing it until now, it's scandalous that they haven't done so. RMT has fought against a mismanaged procedure on the basis of the facts the union had available, and were entirely right to do so. Paul's case will now continue at Employment Tribunal, where those arguments about LU's woeful mishandling of the case can be pursued.

The strike also doubled up as action in a wider dispute about authoritarian management culture on the line. RMT reps says concessions on this have been secured, including a commitment from management to review ongoing attendance and disciplinary cases. Whether these are sufficient to have warranted the suspension of the strike is a difficult call, but it's important that this dispute is not allowed to fade away. We know from the experience of the Picc Line dispute that action may still be necessary to force management to keep to their commitments.

The disputes on the Central Line, Picc Line, and now on the H&C at Barking, where Aslef drivers plan strikes on 10 and 23 January, show that there's an obvious problem across the job with bosses at train depots throwing their weight around. Our unions need to show some joined-up thinking and coordinate the trains side disputes.

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