Bakerloo Line

Safe staffing during closures

Published on: Sat, 21/03/2020 - 17:53

We’ve heard stories of AMs trying to babysit closed Section 12 stations with CSAs, or remove staff from them entirely. Swift intervention by local and Tier 2 reps ensured a plan to babysit Bakerloo Line stations with CSAs was quashed.

If trains are running, even closed stations need properly-licensed staff (i.e., CSS or above). They're needed to deal with any incidents, and book on contractors. This must be non-negotiable.

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Shutdown on the Bakerloo: workers have the power!

Published on: Fri, 21/02/2020 - 16:32

It's been a solid day of industrial action so far on the Bakerloo, as drivers strike to win a workable timetable. RMT organised lively pickets at Queen's Park and Elephant and Castle, with an impromptu joint strike rally being held at the latter location when striking university workers from the London College of Communication across the road, along with their student supporters, joined striking LU workers.

As the tweet from the official Bakerloo Line account showed... "no service on the entire line, due to strike action", confirming the words of the old labour movement hymn 'Solidarity Forever' that "without our brain and muscle, not a single wheel can turn."

The strike continues through to midday tomorrow (Saturday), before resuming at 11:59 on Sunday through to 11:59 on Monday.

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A tale of two ASLEFs?

Published on: Thu, 20/02/2020 - 10:09

We were amused to see another edition of the Tube Driver bulletin appear online recently (see bottom of this article), apparently an attempt by some members of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (Aslef) to replicate Tubeworker, but with an explicitly sectionalist, driver-only slant. It makes its lack of interest in solidarity with other grades very clear.

This latest edition covers the Bakerloo Line drivers' strike, which it calls "unnecessary". It is essentially a scab-herding leaflet. It stops just short of openly saying "Aslef members should cross RMT picket lines", but that's the message.

Like Tubeworker, Tube Driver is not an official union publication. But it wears its sectional, craft-unionist principles proudly on its sleeve, just as we wear our all-grades, industrial-unionist principles proudly on ours.

Fortunately, however, there are other voices with Aslef that have something different, and better, to say about the Bakerloo strike. The Twitter account of the Aslef West Brompton 226 branch that "if your sister union is on strike, you don't have to cross the picket line". Clearly, then, some people in Aslef understand the importance of cross-union solidarity, and aren't encouraging their workmates to scab.

We appeal to rank-and-file members of Aslef to follow those principles of solidarity, rather than the attitude encouraged by the Tube Driver bulletin.


The two souls of Aslef:


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Bakerloo drivers: all out!

Published on: Fri, 07/02/2020 - 13:53

RMT has named strikes in the timetable dispute on the Bakerloo Line. Drivers will strike from 11.59 on Friday 21 to 11.59 on Saturday 22, then from 11.59 on Sunday 23 to 11.59 on Monday 24. The intention is for this rolling strike to maximise the impact of the action across four days, while only requiring drivers to lose two days' money.

After returning a thumping ballot result, it appeared, as we'd previously reported, that progress had been made in negotiations. But things have slipped back since, and with no concrete concessions from management, workers have decided it's time for action.

This is a dispute over absolutely elementary issues: the right to decent working conditions. Working Timetable 44 is a mess, which has led to the time between some trips being so short that drivers don't even have time for a toilet break or a drink of water. The situation has had a knock-on effect for station staff, who have to deal with additional congestion on platforms caused by gaps between trains, and of course for passengers.

Tubeworker hopes Aslef members at Queen's Park and Elephant and Castle, the line's two train depots, will respect RMT picket lines.

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Management makes concessions in Bakerloo timetable fight

Published on: Tue, 14/01/2020 - 23:00

Following Bakerloo drivers’ overwhelming vote for industrial action to win a workable timetable, LU has committed to a “no compulsory overtime” agreement on the line, as well as agreeing to review SPADs and safety incidents that have taken place under the current, and almost universally despised, “Working Timetable 44”.

Managers are meeting with reps to discuss the implementation of a new timetable, which has been brought forward to March.

If those discussions don’t go well, Bakerloo drivers are rightly ready to take action.

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Bakerloo drivers vote for action

Published on: Tue, 17/12/2019 - 17:48

Bakerloo drivers in RMT have voted by a 95% majority for strikes, and by 98% for action short of a strike, on an 80% turnout.

They’re fighting to win a workable timetable; we reported on the issues in the dispute here.

Following this overwhelming vote for action, let’s hope the bosses see sense. But if not... see you on the picket lines!

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Staffing reviews delayed... time to step up the fight

Published on: Tue, 10/12/2019 - 15:52

Almost exactly a year ago, station staff on the Bakerloo South group had just voted for industrial action to address issues around uncovered duties and short staffing.

Strikes were called in December and January, and later suspended after LU committed to filling all vacancies; covering all duties; and conducting a staffing review across the group to identify possible needs for additional jobs.

This agreement was later extended to a number of other station groups, including District Centre, where RMT members also balloted for action.

A year on, and the staffing reviews on these areas still have not produced definitive outcomes. There is a suggestion that one or two additional jobs may be created on Bakerloo South, possibly sometime in January, but no concrete timeframe for this, and with the suggestion that increases may be offset by getting rid of a part-time CSS position at Piccadilly Circus. On District Centre, there hasn't been vague indications so much as radio silence.

It's hard not to conclude that management simply haven't taken these processes seriously. The procrastination over these local staffing reviews are part of the reason why Tubeworker believes a network-wide dispute over stations issues, and most centrally issues around short and understaffing, is now necessary, and why we're pleased to see the RMT move in that direction. It appears reviews arising from local disputes will simply be kicked into the long grass, so we need to up the ante.

Let's ballot network-wide in 2020 and fight for increased staffing levels on stations, an end to lone working, and more.

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Bakerloo Line drivers: vote yes for action!

Published on: Tue, 10/12/2019 - 15:45

"Working" Timetable 44 on the Bakerloo Line is simply not working.

The timetable has led to a long list of problems, including turnaround times so tight that drivers often aren't able to take a toilet break between trips. The timetable has also led to big gaps between trains at certain times, leading to overcrowding on platforms.

RMT drivers at Queen's Park and Elephant depots are balloting for strikes to win a workable timetable. The ballot closes on 17 December. Tubeworker encourages all drivers to vote yes/yes for strikes and action short of strikes. Aslef driver are also balloting, creating the potential for a total shutdown of trains on the Bakerloo if management don't agree to withdraw WTT44 and implement a timetable that's workable for drivers and safer for passengers.

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Marylebone workers win on mess room

Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 10:51

Local management at Marylebone had been planning to force staff to stop using the ex-ticket office mess room as a mess facility. (We previously reported on this here.)

There’s no real justification for this decision; it seemed to simply be motivated by management wanting to throw its weight around. Local reps mounted a local campaign, escalated the issue through the machinery, and brought a motion to their branch proposing a dispute if management didn’t back down.

Fortunately management saw sense and have agreed to allow staff to continue using the facility. There are remaining issues over the location of lockers, but it’s a good win for now!

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Too Hot to Handle

Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 10:01

Alarmed that the temperature could rise above twenty degrees, last Friday evening, Network Rail announced that on Saturday there would be a speed restriction of 20mph all the way from Queen's Park to Bushey. After all, the rails might buckle in the oven-like temperatures.

Problem is: management didn't bother amending Bakerloo running times at all. Somehow, they expected trains to run to time without being allowed to run to time.

Drivers knew that this would rapidly turn into a fiasco. And so it came to pass. By Saturday midday, the job was up the wall.

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