Transport for London

“20 additional colleagues”?

Published on: Wed, 02/10/2019 - 16:11

An LU Employee Bulletin announces that, to combat workplace violence and antisocial behaviour on the east end of the District Line, LU will be providing “20 additional colleagues”.

Good news, you might think. An acknowledgement that lone working and understaffing are the fundamental problems. But alas, the reality is not so encouraging.

These “colleagues” aren’t additional LU station staff, but staff drafted in from TfL’s Surface Transport department – workers who deal with taxi enforcement and revenue issues on buses. They are not trained or licensed to work on LU stations. They have no ability to intervene in any safety or security issue that takes place on the station.

LU aren’t even putting a sticking plaster on a gaping wound… they’re rubbing salt in it.

They’re also putting the Surface Transport workers, who are fellow transport workers and trade unionists, in an extremely difficult position by using them in this way. They shouldn’t have to be drafted in to be spare bodies when what’s so clearly needed is additional LU staff.

LU’s woefully inadequate response to issues of antisocial behaviour and workplace violence on District East, at West Ham, and elsewhere, show that the bosses are more committed to their agenda of penny-pinching budgetary savings than to the safety and wellbeing of workers.

It’s time for action. We need strikes to win a safe staffing level.

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Keep the Learning Zone Open!

Published on: Tue, 02/07/2019 - 07:35

TfL likes to boast about its Learning Zone, about how it has given staff the opportunity to enhance our skills and to overcome the barriers presented to dylexic and other neurodivergent people. It's so proud of the facility that ... it's planning to close it.

Yes, the company can afford massive salaries for the big cheeses, numerous over-the-top contractor fees, but not a really valuable education service that costs the equivalent of such one-and-a-half staff.

We'd love to see industrial action against this, but in the meantime, please sign this online petition.

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Vote for strikes to stop “Transformation” cuts

Published on: Thu, 20/06/2019 - 13:14

As TfL/LU push ahead with cuts planned under its “Transformation” process, RMT is balloting affected members for strikes and other industrial action. Workers affected include all ex-Tube Lines members, Palestra House (LUCC) Service Control, Signals, Skills Development, and Track Access Control.

The “Transformation” scheme, which has already claimed dozens of jobs in admin grades, threatens potentially thousands more. A planned three-day strike by fleet workers recently forced LU to back off from plans to extend train preparation schedules; strikes across affected grades could throw a spanner in the works of “Transformation”.

RMT must also plan to spread the dispute to other grades if initial action by the affected workers doesn’t get results.

The ballot opens on 26 June, and close on 16 July. Resist the cuts: vote yes/yes!

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Waste collection to be outsourced?

Published on: Thu, 20/06/2019 - 13:08

The Labour Party has a national policy commitment to end outsourcing when it goes into government. Great. But we already have a Labour mayor in City Hall. Not only is Sadiq Khan overseeing the continued outsourcing of cleaning, security, and cleaning, under his mayoralty, TfL and LU bosses are looking to outsource and privatise even more workers!

As part of the ongoing “Transformation” process of TfL/LU cuts, bosses plan to outsource waste collection services in outer London, currently done by directly-employed staff, to a private company. Workers’ terms, conditions, and jobs are at risk. (For more, see this RMT report here.)

RMT is now balloting for strikes against “Transformation” cuts. As fleet workers have recently shown, the threat of action can get results.

Tubeworker topics

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Demonstrate at City Hall!

Published 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.

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

Published 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!

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Interserve workers get organised

Published on: Thu, 21/03/2019 - 11:45

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.

RMT's Piccadilly and District West branch has been taking a particular lead in helping the workers organise. As well as fighting for better pay and improved working conditions for Interserve workers, RMT will also be fighting for the contract to be taken in-house and for the workers to be employed directly by LUL/TfL.

Tubeworker topics

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1,400 TfL jobs under threat

Published on: Wed, 08/11/2017 - 14:06

Transport for London has announced a plan to cut 1,400 jobs as part of its "transformation" programme, a bid to save up to £5 billion as the Tories' slash TfL's central government subsidy. These jobs will come from engineering, admin, managerial, and other departments.

Tubeworker would have no problem saying goodbye to some bosses at the top: there is undoubtedly a culture within TfL/LU whereby hordes of managers and consultants are employed on inflated salaries. But it is not only senior managers but vital staff in administrative, engineering, and planning roles who face the axe.

Unions must resist this cuts onslaught. Any job lost will be a setback, as it accepts the principle that cutting staff - whatever their grade or department - is the first option for making "savings" rather than, for example, trimming senior management pay, or actually fighting the government on the question of the subsidy.

A genuinely radical Labour administration in City Hall would not be taking the cuts lying down. It would be telling the Tories that it does not accept the reduction in the subsidy, and publicly declaring that it will support any and all union action against the cuts. In the past, radical Labour councils such as Poplar in the 1920s and Clay Cross in the 1970s have taken on Tory governments by refusing to pass on central government cuts to local people by cutting services or increasing council rents.

Our unions should be demanding a similar stance from Sadiq Khan and the GLA. In the meantime, we need to get organised across the job, particularly in immediately affected areas, to build for industrial action to resist the cuts.

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"Transformation" means job cuts

Published on: Tue, 07/11/2017 - 11:06

TfL/LU has announced the latest wave of its "Transformation" programme, and is briefing staff about them today (7 November).

Unions say they expect the announcements to include job cuts in numerous departments, including Skills Development, Establishment Planning, Network Operational Administration, Renewals and Enhancement, Asset Operations, Senior Management Administration, and Performance Analysis and Improvement.

It's no secret that unions aren't as strong in office-based and admin departments as in operational grades. But there's no time like the present to launch a drive to improve our organisation. Fight the cuts!

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Transfer Talk

Published on: Tue, 28/03/2017 - 14:28

Over 1,500 workers face being shuffled around like pieces on a chessboard from 30 April, as LU proposes to transfer the employment of all workers involved in engineering, major projects, change delivery and PMO activity to Transport for London.

The relationship between TfL and its subsidiary companies is something of a movable feast, with the level of integration seeming to magically increase or decrease depending on what happens to suit the bosses at a given moment.

What is not in doubt is that directly-employed TfL staff have worse terms and conditions in many regards than those that have been won by LUL employees. Unions have been fighting a long-running battle within TfL against attacks on pensions and a performance-related-pay scheme. Now, 1,500 LU engineers face a potential levelling down.

LU MD Mark Wild has said he was doing this for grade progression for traffic light grads into Railway Signalling... as if they're the same thing! It'd be a bit like taking your unwell pet to see a haematologist. Wild has also said he doesn't even know how much the transfer will save; without a doubt, though, in the current climate, jobs are at risk. And the whole of test train work is being transferred... except the drivers!

The TUPE proposals are a complete mess. Q Grades staff are excluded, which is a good thing, but the departments they work in are being transferred, so they'll still face the upheaval of doing the same job but having to report to a different manager in a new department. The whole thing may breach TUPE regulations anyway, as the bosses have failed to consult, and the transfer disrupts a previously-agreed multi-year pay deal. The longer-term fear is that LU will break up teams at Acton and Lillie Bridge depots and transfer them over to TfL too. Many feel the transfers may be preludes to larger attacks under the "TfL Transformation" programme.

The RMT has demanded a halt to the transfer. Workers are not disposable commodities to be moved around by our employers depending on what’s best for their accounts!

The solution is for a fully-integrated transport system, an end to needless transfers and contracting out, with all workers employed by a single, public employer, with pay, terms, and conditions levelled up.

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