Attendance and Discipline

Rogue managers risk lives

Published on: Thu, 02/04/2020 - 12:07

We've previously reported on rogue managers putting pressure on staff to attend work rather than following public health guidance to remain at home. Although union reps have done well at responding to and pushing back that pressure in many areas, some managers are continuing to be a problem.

Whether its managers demanding verification of underlying conditions that the company already knows about, or telling workers in vulnerable groups that travelling to and from work isn't a risk, managers are breaching both public health guidance and LU's own policy, which says that it's the member of staff's decision whether to self-isolate.

We all know that pretending to have medical expertise and pressuring staff back to work is a favourite pastime of LU managers, but one would hope that in the midst of a global pandemic, they might wise up and just follow the guidance. But old habits die hard.

Wherever such problems occur, we must stand our ground, and report the issues to our reps.

Tubeworker topics
Issues and Campaigns

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Reinstate Racquel Dwyer!

Published on: Thu, 02/04/2020 - 11:59

Cleaning contractor ABM has sacked RMT rep Racquel Dwyer.

Racquel recently won an Employment Tribunal claim against ABM, and, in her capacity as a rep, has consistently raised concerns about PPE and other safety issues in the workplace, over a number of months. ABM announced a restructure process that has all the hallmarks of being contrived specifically to target Racquel's job, and have made her redundant. The bosses appear to have sought revenge against a worker and union rep who has been a thorn in their side.

That ABM would press ahead with any job cut programme now, at a time when more cleaning, and more cleaners, are desperately needed, is outrageous. That they would target an RMT safety rep for fighting for a safer workplace shows us exactly where this company's priorities lie.

RMT has launched a campaign to defend Racquel; we all needed to get behind it.

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Automatic Warning?

Published on: Thu, 19/09/2019 - 13:40

"It's an automatic 26-week warning" is becoming a mantra from managers, especially on stations. But that's not the case, and it is high time that more of us objected and asserted our rights.

The Attendance and Discipline policies are clear that managers have discretion to give lower warnings - or no warning at all - as well as to give the maximum. If they give the maximum warning, they have to explain why. Any mention of the word "automatic" is a breach of the policy.

Some CSMs have the bottle to do this, but others appear to think that they have to do exactly what their bosses tell them to.

We want the unions to raise this with the company at the highest level, but some more assertion at local level wouldn't go amiss as well.

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Piccadilly power wins justice for Sophie

Published 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!

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Central Line drivers vote for strikes

Published 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.

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Justice for Sophie!

Published 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!

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Ballot for Billing!

Published 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.

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LUL's Shameful Treatment of Assault Victim

Published 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

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POM Problems

Published on: Sat, 26/01/2019 - 14:30

Station staff across the job are facing discipline, and even the sack, for minor ticket office discrepancies.

We’re rapidly losing faith in the technology we’re working with, and in LU’s ability to train us on it.

If you don’t feel confident, insist on further training.

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Fit for Nothing

Published 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.

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