Tubeworker's blog

Jubilee and Acton District drivers: all out on 6 and 14 June!

Submitted by Tubeworker on Tue, 22/05/2018 - 14:57

Despite previous commitments to improve work/life balance and reduce weekend working, a new timetable management is attempting to impose on the Jubilee Line in fact increases weekend working. Quite rightly, drivers aren't having it. Both Aslef and RMT members will strike on 6 and 14 June to resist the imposition of the new timetable.

(The Threat Of) Direct Action Gets The Goods!

Submitted by Tubeworker on Wed, 16/05/2018 - 21:57

RMT drivers on the Bakerloo Line have seriously bloodied the bosses' collective nose, after LU was forced into an embarrassing climbdown over a sacked Queen's Park driver. The company has agreed to reinstate the driver, after the RMT Bakerloo Line branch decided to ballot for strikes to demand he got his job back.

No place of safety? Don’t work!

Submitted by Tubeworker on Fri, 11/05/2018 - 14:21

Management at Edgware Road on the Bakerloo have come up with the bright idea of stationing a solitary CSA downstairs by the lifts to deter passengers from entering via the exit side.

Only problem is, there’s no place of safety down there, and the duty hasn’t been risk assessed.

Tubeworker reminds readers that we have the right to refuse to carry out unsafe work. A place of safety is your right.

Night Tube fight back

Submitted by Tubeworker on Tue, 01/05/2018 - 11:54

A campaign is brewing involving Night Tube station staff; RMT’s Finsbury Park branch passed a charter of issues affecting Night Tube workers, which has been submitted to LU to form the basis of a comprehensive review of Night Tube.

Although both RMT and Aslef have organised disputes involving Night Tube drivers, there are issues on both trains and stations around the integration of Night Tube workers into the wider workforce. Contact, or lack of it, with union reps can be an issue, and unions need to do more to organise amongst Night Tube staff.

Start the pay fight now!

Submitted by Tubeworker on Tue, 01/05/2018 - 11:51

The deal on pay, terms, and conditions on LU expires in April 2019. We need to get into gear to make sure the next deal is a good one.

Let’s make sure our unions submit the deal in good time, meaning that if strikes become necessary to push our demands (and, let’s face it, they almost certainly will), they can be organised well in advance, with the aim of securing a deal in time for when it’s actually supposed to be implemented.

More question marks for ABM

Submitted by Tubeworker on Tue, 24/04/2018 - 22:14

The passes used by some ex-ISS supervisors now working for ABM mysteriously stopped working today; their ABM company emails also went down.

It doesn't inspire confidence. In fact, it's starting to resemble the days of cowboy company Blue Diamond, who eventually cut and run from the contract.

Are ABM up to the job? The organisation with the capacity to properly coordinate cleaning on LU and integrate the employment of thousands of cleaners is... LU itself. Bring cleaning back in house!

Jubilee drivers say enough is enough

Submitted by Tubeworker on Mon, 23/04/2018 - 22:03

Jubilee Line drivers are unhappy with new duty schedules forced on them by management. Like much of the Tube, the Jubilee Line gets busier and busier each year, and working patterns deteriorate with the pressure ramped up too.

Drivers on the Jubilee have decided it is time to say enough is enough, with both unions likely headed to dispute.

Two views on the RMT Labour reaffiliation debate

Submitted by Tubeworker on Mon, 23/04/2018 - 21:44

The RMT is currently debating whether to reaffiliate to the Labour Party. The decision will be made at a Special General Meeting in Doncaster on 30 May. In the run-up to this meeting, many branches are holding special meetings to decide their positions and mandate their SGM delegate.

A majority of those involved in producing the Tubeworker bulletin support reaffiliation: this view is reflected in the first article below, and elsewhere on this site (including in this briefing).

Wot No Station Closure?

Submitted by Tubeworker on Fri, 20/04/2018 - 16:57

When a person was stabbed at Highbury and Islington station a couple of weekends ago, the Police asked for the station to close so they could search for the weapon. No problem, said the station staff, and started the process of closing it. But then the Service Manager got wind of this, and somehow had delusions of authority over the staff on site and ordered the trains - which had already started non-stopping at Highbury - to start stopping there.

Justice for sacked drivers!

Submitted by Tubeworker on Fri, 20/04/2018 - 14:04

Paul Bailey

Paul Bailey, a Leytonstone driver, has been sacked following a drug and alcohol test which he passed.

Testing for cannabis is notoriously difficult. Paul's original test result was hidden from him, but he was stood down because of it. A follow up private test showed 19ng of a cannabinoid substance, but the industry standard for a so called 'failed test' is 50ng. The positive result came because this driver has eaten hemp supplements - allowed by LU - as part of a fitness regime.

Earl's Court drivers' ballot scuppered by anti-union laws

Submitted by Tubeworker on Fri, 20/04/2018 - 12:36

Aslef drivers at Earl's Court depot on the District Line voted by a 77.8% majority for strikes over abuses of the SPAD policy, intending to join their colleagues at Acton depot who struck over similar issues on Friday 13 April.

However, the union is not able to call a lawful strike, as only 39.2% of those eligible to vote voted yes, rather than the 40% required in "essential services" by the Tories' 2016 Trade Union Act.

Unanswered questions for ABM

Submitted by Tubeworker on Fri, 20/04/2018 - 12:18

With all LU cleaning contracts now formally consolidated under ABM, the new company's conduct so far has left many workers with unanswered questions.

Some of these are as fundamental as: who do we actually work for? Tax letters from HMRC say we're employed by... GBM Services Ltd! ABM, a US company, did absorb GBM's UK operation (which held LU cleaning contracts many years ago), but as far as we knew, we were employed directly by ABM, not some subsidiary entity. It makes it hard to assert your rights when you don't even know who your employer is!

Prepare for battle on the Picc

Submitted by Tubeworker on Mon, 09/04/2018 - 00:28

RMT drivers on the Piccadilly Line are heading for a dispute, after the two RMT branches covering the line passed motions noting "that due to continued mismanagement, morale levels on the line are at an historic low level."

Workers cite a raft of issues, including management obstruction of union reps; abuse of procedures; heavy-handed discipline; issues around safety; and more. We all know that solid action by drivers will massively impact the service. Hopefully it'll make the bosses sit up and take notice.

DLR workers to strike again

Submitted by Tubeworker on Mon, 09/04/2018 - 00:26

Workers on London's Docklands Light Railway will strike from 20-24 April, as part of an ongoing dispute over a range of attacks by Keolis Amey Docklands (KAD), the contractor that operates the DLR.

KAD has begun to outsource more work on the DLR, which the RMT union undermines the job security of existing staff. Recent roster changes have also hit work/life balance, with RMT also accusing KAD of failing to uphold company procedures.

The strikes threaten to disrupt the London Marathon, due to take place over that weekend.

Low Standards

Submitted by Tubeworker on Sun, 08/04/2018 - 20:08
PURGE OF EXTREMIST WORKERS ON LONDON TRANSPORT

When Friday evening's passengers read their free Evening Standard, they read that the workforce getting them to where they were going was infested with 'extremists' and terrorists.

Yes, Tory government security minister Ben Wallace had announced that they would be rooting out the extremists who work on the transport system. No wonder Friday's late turn staff were getting nervous looks from numerous passengers.

We don't always need assistance

Submitted by Tubeworker on Sat, 31/03/2018 - 04:35

BTP seem to think they can step in to "help" during any conversation with a customer where there might have been a disagreement or where you've had to repeat something.

You've just told someone to top-up, maybe you don't think they should travel till they've sobered up or they are absent mindedly tapping their card on a 'No Entry' gate.

We deal with customers like this everyday, sometimes they get a bit annoyed when you intervene but most of the time we've handled the situation and we can move on.

Solidarity not snitching!

Submitted by Tubeworker on Sun, 25/03/2018 - 21:24

With the creation of the CSM grade, operational station staff are now disciplining each other. Increasingly, station staff are divided between grades.

The breakdown of solidarity has led to a culture whereby many staff seem to take it upon themselves to police each other and grass their colleagues up to management for minor performance issues.

Union busting on Yammer?

Submitted by Tubeworker on Sun, 25/03/2018 - 21:20

LU bosses tell us that corporate social media platform Yammer is a great way to have a conversation about what's going on at work. Senior managers like MD Mark Wild like to drop by to give the impression they're listening to what their workers think.

But it seems the conversation is rather one-sided: a Yammer user was recently censored for posting an RMT leaflet, which was summarily deleted.

Bonfire of the procedures?

Submitted by Tubeworker on Sun, 25/03/2018 - 21:13

Rumours abound, originating in a leaked email from a senior HR manager, that LU plans to merge various procedures. This could include merging CDI and LDI processes, merging the grievance and harrasment and bullying processes, and more.

This is bad news if true. The bosses won't do this to make things better for us! We need to gear up for a fight to stop any such mergers.

In many cases, the status quo is pretty wretched too. We should use any fight to”defend” existing procedures as a springboard to fight for improvements.

Aslef members at Acton to strike on 11 April

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 22/03/2018 - 23:33

Aslef drivers at Acton depot have announced a strike for 11 April, in protest at the misapplication of policies and procedures (particularly the SPAD policy) and the dipping of a driver to a stations role. Aslef members at Earl's Court are also balloting.

There was some confusion in the announcement of the strike, which was initially called for 28 March, then pushed to 11 April, possibly due to Aslef falling foul of new laws requiring a union to give an employer increased notices of strikes.

Sick pay robbery reversed

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 22/03/2018 - 23:27

RMT's Regional Organiser announced last week that ex-Vinci cleaners transferred onto the new ABM contract will retain their rights to contractual sick pay.

This had been removed in their new ABM contracts, in direct contravention of "TUPE" regulations (the laws governing workers being transferred from one employer to another), which stipulate that existing rights must be retained.

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.

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.

We can't 'resolve' everything

Submitted by Tubeworker on Tue, 13/03/2018 - 18:56

Management on the Vic are keen that CSAs “do more” to track ‘36’ error codes on the gates. They want more customers to be taken over to the POMs and made to top-up, resolve journeys and drag us further into doing the job of protecting revenue, and they want us to record how we are doing it. Tubeworker is pretty confident that this will make no impact on the blackhole in government funding.

Overground Nightmares

Submitted by Tubeworker on Sun, 11/03/2018 - 18:20

Spare a thought for the staff and passengers of Highbury and Islington station, which is now served by the Night Overground service as well as Night Tube.
When this was first announced, staff and our unions had plenty of issues to raise with management, not least of all minimum numbers, staffing levels, cleaning and emergency procedures. Bear in mind that following a recent uprating, Highbury now has to carry out hourly security checks, and Night Overground has added three platforms to the scope of the checks.

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