Victoria line

Action needed over noise levels

Submitted by Tubeworker on Wed, 03/07/2019 - 11:43

RMT is considering a ballot of driver members on five lines - Victoria, Central, Northern, Jubilee, and Piccadilly - over noise levels.

LU has installed “Pandrol Vanguard” technology on the tracks in an attempt to reduce train noise at street level... with the effect that noise is forced into the cab and cars, affecting drivers and passengers.

This fix is not good enough. We want a proper engineering solution, and in the meantime a temporary speed restriction in place over affected areas to reduce noise.

If LU won’t agree to that, industrial action short of strikes to drive at reduced speed over affected track will be necessary.

Victoria Line drivers head for action

Submitted by Tubeworker on Tue, 28/05/2019 - 17:21

RMT drivers on the Victoria Line look as though they may soon join their Central Line comrades in balloting for industrial action.

The issues are similar, focusing on management throwing their weight around in the depot. RMT has been arranging meetings of the relevant reps, but it’s crucial that these are quickly translated into action.

As the fleet dispute shows, industrial action is often the only language LU understands.

Tubeworker topics

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.

Wot No Walthamstow Lift?

Submitted by Tubeworker on Sun, 17/02/2019 - 21:20

Spare a thought for the passengers at Walthamstow Central station, who have had to manage without the lift from the ticket hall to the bus station for around three weeks now. They are left with no access other than by the pretty hefty staircase.

It seems that a part failed and that rather than holding a stock of spare parts, the contractor has to order a new one to be made, which is done in Italy and can take up to a month.

Such is the illogic of contracting-out bits of the Underground to private companies. Having said that, you'd think that if LUL insists on using contractors, it could insist on rather better contracts.

Tubeworker topics

Defend Zahra Tirmazi!

Submitted by Tubeworker on Mon, 21/01/2019 - 18:37

Zahra Tirmazi, a station worker at Walthamstow Central, was violently assaulted (including being put in a headlock), and racially abused, by a fare-evading passenger. In typically supportive fashion, LU is disciplining her for her role in an incident in which she is obviously the victim.

So much for all those posters on our stations about how LU won’t tolerate abuse of its staff. Turns out, not only will they tolerate it, they’ll blame us for it, throw the book at us, and threaten us with the sack.

Zahra’s RMT branch is quite rightly mounting a campaign in her defence. LU might fail to support us: we won’t fail to support each other.

Tubeworker topics

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.

Nearly twenty minutes of telephoning, to-ing and fro-ing later, the Service Manager finally agreed to stop the trains and allow the station to close.

Station staff will understand what an appalling incident this is. If we don't have the power to close stations when we need to - for example, when the Police ask us to - then we can not guarantee the safe operation of the station, or the safety of passengers or staff. Bear in mind that there was a knife that had just been used to stab someone at large, and that it was 11pm on a Saturday night. A Service Manager who is not even there can not possibly know better than the staff on site whether the station needs to close.

RMT has rightly demanded answers about this and a guarantee that it won't happen again. But management don't yet seem to understand what the problem is. Either that or they are closing ranks.

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.

What are staff meant to do in the peak when the gateline is already overcrowded if we are taken off to go and get someone to a POM? What about when they don’t want to go there once they are through!

We won't be confronting angry passengers about sorting out their fares. We want assaults on staff reduced, while management put in policies that will put us at greater risk.

Tubeworker topics

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.
Nevertheless, our intrepid management proceeded to ignore staff's concerns. Then, just when we thought the start date of Night Overground from Highbury would have to be put back, it was brought forward to the last weekend in February!
Not that management bothered to tell the staff. With all the issues still outstanding, it took some intense fuss-making over the week before to get any answers.
The first weekend went off without any major disasters, partly because management arranged for the gaps to be filled by police and Overground Travel Safe Officers. Since then, though, the station has had to contend with no such assistance, with promised extra staff not materialising, inadequate cleaning coverage, and a violent assault on staff.
This scenario will doubtless sound familiar to staff at Canada Water, the first station to be connected with the Night Overground, which also saw extra help for a short while, only to be left to their own devices within a few weeks.
What a way to run a railway.

Overground Night Service

Submitted by Tubeworker on Fri, 15/12/2017 - 22:09

Spare a thought for those staff affected by London Overground's night service, which kicks off tonight.

The Overground stations will be staffed by security guards, if they are staffed at all. And the affected London Underground stations? Who knows? There has been practically zero consultation with our unions about how the stations will deal with the extra demand.

While the Overground night service isn't stopping at any Underground services - for now - LUL stations may well take a hit from punters who have heard that there is a night service on the Overground and expect it to be running from their station.

Management are fast running out of time to get arrangements sorted for when London Overground's night coverage expands in the Spring.

We may have to make them wake up and smell the coffee.

Dust Up

Submitted by Tubeworker on Mon, 13/11/2017 - 21:47

One consequence of sharing some stations with other train operating companies is that we get the fallout when their standards slip even lower than ours.

So spare a thought for station staff at Moorgate, Old Street and Highbury & Islington. Great Northern have omitted to clean their tunnels properly for a couple of decades, and the dust has now become a positive nuisance. The good news is that it doesn't - as initially feared - contain asbestos. The less good news is that it contains mould and various other nasty substances.

It is just not acceptable for us (or our Great Northern workmates) to be subjected to working in these conditions.

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