It appears that ABM is mounting a serious assault on jobs, with reports flooding in from across LU of positions being slashed.
Numerous stations with three or more cleaners on a shift are losing at least one position, with any agency cleaners first in the firing line. Many are being told they have to accept redeployment to a new station, often nowhere near their current one.
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.
Piccadilly power wins justice for SophieTubeworkerMon, 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Fortunately, management saw sense and the warning was rescinded on appeal.
Strike to defend train safety!TubeworkerWed, 08/05/2019 - 17:18
Fleet workers have begun their industrial action to defeat extended train prep, by refusing to deliver or participate in training for work outside substantive roles. This action is vital to stop LU training up a scab workforce to cover train prep work while fleet staff are on strike.
Strikes have been called from 07:00 on 17 May to 07:00 on 20 May. It’s good the union has called three days of action, rather than a token one-day strike. This will hit the company hard.
Great news this week as Transport for London has backed down on plans to close London Overground ticket offices.
This follows an active campaign by RMT, and by local Labour Party branches in the areas affected. Reps and activists handed out thousands of leaflets, travelled round the various stations affected and made themselves seen and heard. They made the case that ticket offices are essential for people to safely access the network and for protecting jobs.
Tubeworker thinks that outside of a genuine emergency no one needs their manager contacting them outside of work. The survey being conducted by Aslef as to whether managers can call us to offer duties we didn't request has a very easy answer. NO!
Network Rail has provided agency workers to work as suicide-prevention security staff on stations at the north end of the Bakerloo Line for some time.
Previously, workers were hired via an agency called SES, and paid around £10 an hour. But a new agency, Servo, has recently taken over the contract, and appears to be paying workers less - around £8 an hour.
Fleet maintainers have voted overwhelming for industrial action against LUL management's plan to cut the frequency of train preparation. A combination of strength of feeling about the issue and a solid organising effort by RMT activists saw nearly two-thirds of ballot papers returned, nearly ninety per cent of them voting Yes to strikes and even more than that for action short.
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.
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.
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.
Around International Women's Day, 8th March, LUL's intranet and company magazine, On the Move, featured women who are 'bucking the trend' by working in male-dominated roles - technical officer, service control manager, track maintenance.
But why are women still a minority in LUL when we are 51% of London's population?
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.
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.
Station staff on the District East group, and drivers at Upminster and Barking depots on the District and Hammersmith and City Lines, are planning ballots for industrial action to protest lone working.
Security guards and reception workers at LUL and TfL buildings are getting organised. Interserve, the outsourced contractor which employs them, is in financial chaos, and was recently bought out of administration by its own lenders.
This means these workers, who already face a raft of workplace issues, now face a deeply uncertain future.
MTR - which has the contract to run Crossrail - has come a-cropper in Hong Kong, as its trial of new signalling systems came off the rails.
Two subway tains collided between Central and Admiralty stations during an early morning test run on Monday before start of traffic. Both drivers were taken to hospital, with one suffering leg injuries.
It looks like the fault was in the software, which is supplied by another name familiar to Tube workers: Thales.
Workers on the cable car service across the Thames have won pay rises of between 14.35% and 22.35% - by getting unionised.
In this relatively new workforce, a few staff had joined RMT. But the campaign stepped up a gear in October last year with the election of a new RMT rep. The union negotiated a recognition agreement and started talking to the company about pay. As time went on and the benefits of unionisation became clearer, more joined, and so the pressure on management increased.
55 Broadway is to be 'disposed of' according to an article on the TfL intranet. That is crass language for the privatisation of such an iconic LU building; funded by taxes or passenger fares.
This happening as a result of a political choice to end tube subsidies, made by the Tory party as they don't wish to tax their own wealthy class a fair amount. TfL argues it is having to make cuts, usually spun as savings, though it is doing so without much of a fight from senior management or from our Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Apparently, LUL pays £1,300 a go for a Track Retrieval Device.
That might sound quite reasonable if it were actually a 'device' in the popular understanding of the word. But it is a stick with a sticky pad on the end. Hence its usual moniker among station staff - the 'sticky stick'.
Private companies which make stuff like this must think that LUL is run by a bunch of suckers who will put their hands deep into their corporate pockets for any simple gadget they can come up with.
Management's plan to cut the frequency of train preparation from every 24 hours to every 96 hours will be disastrous for jobs, for safety, and for reliability.
Driven solely by penny-pinching, the cut - if it goes ahead - will see trains going into passenger service which have not been check for up to three days. Given the mileage that a train will have covered during that time, and the range of hazards and stresses it faces over that time, the likelihood of a fault is significant. That's why we check them every day, and why it is vital that we keep checking them every day.
A lot of us have come onto the job since the last pay claim in 2015. If you are Night Tube then you probably don’t remember the last time a pay increase was on the cards. All the unions on the tube have now gone to the bosses with what they want.
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.
JB, a worker-militant working on the railway in São Paolo, Brazil, recently visited London, and spoke to a number of radical workers' organisations including Tubeworker and the Angry Workers of the World. He is involved with the Invisíveis collective.
The RMT trade union recently called for more train operators. The union's National Executive Committee made a decision on the matter that stated the issues caused by a lack of drivers are 'increasingly detrimental effect on members in terms of their ability to take leave, family friendly & flexible arrangements, medically necessary reasonable adjustments, training, secondments, career development and representation at management meetings including disciplinaries.'