Tubeworker's blog

Wot No Chair?

One of the demands in RMT's "Covid-19 Charter" is that station staff should work from behind glass as much as possible. It's a simple enough demand, and an important one for maximising distance and minimising contact.

Clearly not every CSA at a large station can work behind glass. But GLAPS...

No Card? No Trip.

Since the pandemic, confirmation cards have been left with the logbook in drivers' cabs to verify that the cab has been properly cleaned and disinfected with anti-viral cleaning solution.

But some drivers report finding these cards haven't been filled in. When they ring a manager, they're simply...

Aslef launch ballot; vote yes, build the fightback!

Aslef has announced an industrial action ballot of their LU membership, closing on 17 September.

They wrote to LU seeking "unequivocal commitment to adhering to the agreed Machinery of Negotiation and Health and Safety Machinery and to confirm that they will not impose any changes to our members...

Four in a lift?

Management continue to confuse workers and passengers alike with their confused guidance on social distancing.

Take these posters by lifts across the network. Clearly these are designed for stations without escalators where the lift is the main way to and from the platforms.

How the lifts in...

Defend safety measures

Boris Johnson's recent announcement that people should start using public transport again is a cause for concern. Although LU says it won't be changing its messaging, which encourages passengers to walk or cycle where possible, workmates on stations and trains are already anecdotally reporting...

Unions rally against cuts

The main four unions organising across Transport for London - RMT, Aslef, TSSA, and Unite - held a joint rally against cuts, via Zoom, on 15 July.

Officials from all unions spoke in favour of industrial action to resist cuts, albeit with varying degrees of emphasis and enthusiasm. Exactly how to...

Progress in Bakerloo North staffing fight

A good news from Bakerloo North, the cover group encompassing all stations on the Bakerloo line north of Queen's Park, as union pressure over local staffing arrangements has yielded results.

Despite a network-wide agreement that all stations must implement local staffing arrangements to eliminate...

Ezra Christian back on the job; fight to get him back on the front!

Ezra Christian, a Bakerloo driver unfairly sacked after an incident for which others involved only received corrective action plans, has been reinstated as a CSA.

This is a big win, not only for Ezra but for his workmates and union branch. It shows the power of solidarity. Bakerloo drivers...

Johnson postures over driverless trains

Driverless trains, every union-hating Tory's favourite imagined panacea, are back in the news again.

Weeks after LU made a commitment to unions that the new stock on the Piccadilly Line, the next line to be refurbished, would have drivers' cabs fitted, the Prime Minister suggested in an interview...

Headcount Review?

Word reaches Tubeworker HQ that a manager in Stations Structural Maintenance has been appointed to conduct a "headcount review" of the entire department.

Is this is a taste of things to come across the combine? No doubt Tory-appointed auditors KPMG will be recommending similar reviews elsewhere....

Charter checklist

The RMT's "Covid-19 Charter" is a useful document, collating the main demands for additional safety measures and policies the union has been pressing for across LU throughout the pandemic.

We need to be prepared to take action around it. That means using the charter like a checklist, ticking off...

Ceiling trouble

Staff and passengers got a shock at Hainult on Tuesday 30 June when a large number of ceiling tiles suddenly fell out and smashed. Fortunately no-one was hurt.

Union safety reps are on the case, pressuring management to ensure a full and thorough investigation into how this happened.

With LU...

Cabs for the Picc

LU has agreed that the new stock on the Picc, due sometime in the mid-2020s, will have drivers' cabs on the trains.

The company's original plans for the upgrade suggested the new stock might be driverless. The announcement is therefore extremely welcome. Unions need to keep the pressure up to...

New Masks with Unreasonable Asks

Management have a stack of new masks on order for us, which claim to offer more protection than the current ones.

But in the circular announcing said masks is an onerous - and clearly discriminatory - statement about said masks. The circular declares that the comapny "will require all of our...

Cleaners Pushed Around

Cleaners on the Bakerloo line have reported being moved from their usual locations to work elsewhere on the line, including train pickers at Elephant being sent to do accommodation cleaning at Stonebridge Park.

These displacements seem to be the result of ABM cutting back on its use of agency...

Two Masks, Too Few

ABM has been providing masks to cleaners, but has only issued cleaners with two each. Although the masks are washable, some cleaners have reported that they become ineffective with repeated washing and use, with the material wearing out or becoming damaged. Cleaners have found it difficult to obtain...

For workers' unity against racism: Black Lives Matter!

On 18 June, Tubeworker held a successful meeting to discuss the Black Lives Matter struggle. The discussion was led by Glen Hart, chair of the RMT's Black and Ethnic Minority Members Advisory Committee. The article below is based on a summary of the discussion at the meeting.

Some comrades have...

Back to normal?

With shops reopening, and the worst of the pandemic, in terms of death rates and the rates of new infections, hopefully behind us, some LU managers appear to fee licensed to push for a return to our normal, pre-pandemic ways of working.

On stations, we've seen Area Managers try to unilaterally...

Say no to drivers' overtime!

London Underground has announced, more or less out of the blue, that it wants to create the facility for drivers to do overtime and rest day working. This has to be resisted. Tube drivers don't currently do overtime, and that is how it should remain.

We get a relatively decent wage, and if we...

All Risk Assessments Matter?

Management's slapdash approach to risk assessments for black and minority ethnic (BAME) workers is shocking even by their usual standards. The Mayor told the company it had to do this risk assessment. Then before you know it, a hurried document has come out which makes no reference whatsoever to the...

One Way, Wrong Way

Spare a thought for passengers and staff at Finsbury Park station, where the one-way system is causing grief as well as social distancing.

Passengers arriving from the above-ground station are coming down to the Tube station, only to be told that they have to walk round to the other side of the...

Masks, Visors, and Volunteers...

The government has finally announced, well behind many other countries, that face coverings will be compulsory on public transport from 15 June. No sooner had the policy been announced than ministers appeared to unpick it, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps saying they only needed to be worn on...

Pay Us Our Wages!

LU announced at today's Company Council meeting that they'll be staggering the payment of the back pay they owe us. In July we'll get the back pay for April 2019-April 2020, then in August we'll the pay increase we were due in April 2020, and the back pay on that, and the next increase, and...

Banking on it?

In another sign of lurching back to “business-as-usual” before it's safe, LU wants to deploy SRT staff at the bottom of escalators at Bank. Exactly why the company wants to do this isn't clear; what we do know is that SRT union reps weren't consulted on this plan, it was just unilaterally announced...

Wot No (Open) WAG?!

Throughout the pandemic, Wide Aisle Gates (WAGs) at most stations have been left open, as managers rightly acknowledged that swift and safe travel, rather than revenue collection, was the priority. We're now seeing manager insist that WAGs are shut, with lots more gates now fully operational. Is...

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