Stop Job Cuts

Demonstrate at City Hall!

Submitted by Tubeworker 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.

Fleet workers win train prep fight

Submitted by Tubeworker 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?

Submitted by Tubeworker 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.

A year of unstaffed stations!

Submitted by Tubeworker 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.

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

Submitted by Tubeworker 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!

Bring the Jobs Fights Together!

Submitted by Tubeworker 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.

Prepare for action in train prep fight

Submitted by Tubeworker 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.

Stations admin “transformation” brings chaos

Submitted by Tubeworker 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.

Jobs Saved at North Greenwich

Submitted by Tubeworker on Mon, 19/03/2018 - 23:52

The Area Manager at North Greenwich, who shall for the purposes of this article remain nameless, has been trying their hardest recently to cut CSA jobs at the station and even reduce minimum numbers.

Quite why any manager, particularly one managing the station next to the O2 Arena, in a major tourist location, and attached to a train depot, would want fewer staff is beyond us, but that's the crazy world of LU for you. Perhaps this eager young boss is keen to make a name for themselves as someone who can ruthlessly hack down the size of a budget.

Anyway, after staunch resistance from local and full-time reps, the plans have been rebuffed and the numbers will be remaining as they are. Tubeworker salutes the work of the reps, which just goes to show that when a stand is made, we can push the bosses back.

Admin Gutted

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 15/03/2018 - 14:52

LU has revealed its devastating plans for stations admin. It is gutting the grade: cutting positions from 77 to 53. It plans to split the role into 'coverage' and 'core'. Coverage staff will be centralised at Palestra at Southwark. 'Core' jobs will be based at seven 'hubs', which will all be in central locations, such as Kings Cross and Baker Street. There won't be a hub east of Stratford or west of Hammersmith.

As admin staff we are devastated. LU has asked us for our cooperation and support during this process. How can LU expect our support when we don't even know if we will have a job at the end of this? We will have to go through a selection process but we haven't yet been told what this will involve. If we do secure a job, it will probably be far from where we work now. Many of us do our jobs because we have caring responsibilities or health issues, so the impact of extra travelling time could be immense. We have asked LU to minimise travelling time to our new jobs, which unions eventually forced for station staff under Fit for the Future. But LU has responded with contempt. We're not operational and we don't do shift work, so LU has refused to make any provision for us.

We have been told to submit 'preference' forms in the coming weeks. We find ourselves trying to predict whether preferencing 'coverage' or 'core' is more likely to result in a job. If we are not successful, we must remember it is not our fault for making the wrong 'choice'. It is LU's fault for forcing us to choose between two bad options.

LU is forcing us to compete against our colleagues for one of the new positions when we really need to unite against LU to defeat these plans. The mood amongst admin staff is angry but it is hard for us to see a way forward to defeat the plans. It is frustrating that admin staff have traditionally been labelled 'difficult to organise' with 'no industrial power'. In fact, LU would not cope if we took industrial action. Our work is extremely important for making sure stations are supplied with staff, uniform and equipment. But we have some catching up to do if we are to get organised enough to take action in time to defeat these plans. Our unions need to start an urgent organising drive to this end.

Station staff will be affected badly. Imagine having no relationship with the person who is sorting out coverage, one of the most important things in the life of station staff. No chance of getting a weekend off that you need, or sorting a uniform request in an emergency. It will be an impersonal service, more like phoning a call centre. Station staff need to organise against these plans too. Tubeworker would like to see more communication from our unions directed at station staff, telling us how we will be affected if the plans go ahead and what we can do to stop them.

The overarching problem is political. None of these changes would be on the cards if the government had not cut its funding to TfL from this year. That's right, TfL is not getting any money from the government anymore. It is a shocking, unprecedented move, but the Tories seem to have snuck it under the radar and have hardly attracted any bad publicity for it. The Labour Mayor, the Labour Party, Londoners and our unions need to mount a high profile campaign to restore government funding to TfL. Cuts to admin and all other TfL services can be stopped.

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