Dosh for Nosh

Posted in Tubeworker's blog on Fri, 17/02/2006 - 12:45,

Having your grub at the Acton Town (District) canteen has not had a pleasant 'ambience' of late, what with the loud noise from ongoing building works. And as well as being unpleasant for drivers, it was a nightmare for the canteen staff. So management decided to close it again while the additional refurb work is done.

Only problem is - they didn't bother to consult with the unions about the closure, or about arrangements for drivers in the meantime. Fortunately, union reps beat their door down, and have got an agreement for a £3.50 voucher for drivers scheduled to have their grub at Acton.

But questions still remain about how and when you get this voucher. Sounds to us like the company has made another dog's dinner.

Tubeworker topics


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 20/02/2006 - 22:03

What? London Underground staff have to pay upfront for their own food? What ever next? Its disgusting. I'd strike if I were you. Especially with your wages being so low and all.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 21/02/2006 - 10:58

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

You should get that jealousy problem checked out, you know. How about organising for better pay and conditions in your own workplace rather than knock other people who do?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 22/02/2006 - 11:32

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Actually, its not jealousy. I believe I am paid fairly for my job, and am perfectly happy with my working conditions.
The difference is, when a minor problem occurs, I just get on with doing my job around it. When the staff canteen in the hospital I work in is closed, I buy lunch elsewhere (and yes, that does often mean going slightly out of my way, or planning ahead). I seem able to understand what is truly fair and unfair treatment.

Yes, the staffing issues in LUL are a problem, but all public support is being lost as the RMT etc seem unable to pick their battles. battle for true problems, and the public will support you. Get upset over minor issues (such as when someone might receive £3.50 towards meals when they already earn a very good wage) and the public laugh at you. Thats what is happening I'm afraid.
I have friends that work for LUL, and they consider themselves very lucky to do so, and to earn the salary's they do and receive the benefits they do.

Telling everyone who thinks this kind of behaviour ridiculous they are jealous does not help things. And saying it is everyone else who is underpaid is reminiscent of my 6 year old nephew when he is not getting his own way.

Submitted by Tubeworker on Wed, 22/02/2006 - 14:25

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I think you have completely missed the point here - or set up a straw man, or whatever the phrase is.

Neither RMT nor ASLEF has 'picked a battle' over this canteen issue. There is no big battle, no dispute, no strike. Calm down.

This is simply a report of an issue that has come up at work. It is being dealt with under the normal process of industrial relations - and would have done so even more smoothly had management consulted with the unions in the first place.

That's what Tubeworker does. We report on day-to-day issues at work - not just strikes, not just big headlines. We're not like the Evening Standard, who sensationalise industrial relations on the Tube for the sake of some cheap union-bashing.

Hey, wouldn't this make a good story in the Standard? "Minor problem on the Tube resolved through union representation - no services to the public disrupted". But they won't print a story like that, will they? Tubeworker, on the other hand, will.

Oh, and if you don't want to be accused of jealousy, I'd avoid posting sarcastic, anonymous comments if I were you.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 22/02/2006 - 22:17

In reply to by Tubeworker

If I didn't have to sign up to post, then I would happily not post anonomously. But, you can be sure I'm not about to give you my real name. I am also quite sure that "Tubeworker" is not your real name, so you're hardly less anonomous than I am.

So, the unions haven't made an issue of it. Fine. But your wording quite obviously has. Statements such as "Fortunately, union reps beat their door down" and "Sounds to us like the company has made another dog's dinner." aren't hugely positive now are they?

So come on, how about a post about just how lucky you are to be earning the level of salary you are? Or how lucky you are be working less hours than the average worker? To receive good overtime? A good pension? Or are the reports only regarding negative stories?

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 23/02/2006 - 00:14

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

1. I've read your first sentence ten times now, and the logic of it still floors me. Never mind. You can always type a pseudonym at the end of your post. That would help distinguish you from other Anonymous posters.

2. Union reps did have to (metaphorically) beat down managers' doors just to get consulted about the canteen closure. Now, if management had consulted them from the start, there wouldn't be a problem. On a much bigger scale, the current dispute between ASLEF/RMT and LUL has come about because the company circulated (bad) draft new discipline policies without consulting the unions. It is management that often act in a way that escalates disputes.

3. A canteen closes. It is reopened, but more building work has to be done, so it has to close again. They don't consult the unions. Then they issue vouchers, but people aren't sure how they work. I'd call that a dog's dinner. An avoidable dog's dinner, fault of management.

4. Management publish no end of glossy circulars extolling their virtues to their own staff. They have their own page to blow their own trumpet in the Metro. We do not need to waste the meagre resources of Tubeworker supplementing that for them.

5. The reason that we have comparatively decent pay and conditions is not because we are "lucky", but because we have fought for them year on year. Including, yes, going on strike. So we're not about to give that up, are we?

6. But how about you compare our conditions not to lower-paid workers but to fat cats? To the transport Commissioner on half a million a year and rent-free use of a £2m mansion? Doesn't look so brilliant then, hey?

7. Although the Standard is keen on telling you how much drivers earn, it is not so ready to draw your attention to track workers on £16k, is it? And the less-than-£20k that Stations Assistants earn leaves you struggling in London especially if you have dependants.

8. Finally (for now), some of us might get better-than-average wages, but we also work anti-social hours, get assaulted, deal with accidents, suicides and terror attacks, and - unlike management - keep a massively busy underground railway system running day in day out.

Submitted by Tubeworker on Tue, 21/02/2006 - 13:23

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Actually, this is one of thousands of examples of issues where RMT and other union reps get on with the job of representing members' interests *without* going on strike. Not that you would read about that in the Evening Standard.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 22/02/2006 - 02:15

In reply to by Tubeworker

Noticed a sign pinned to the notice board in the District booking-on point this evening saying that under no circumstances were District vouchers to be issued to Picc drivers. However it went on to say that provision has been made for a hot meal from a van in the Bollo House car park for the little blue line staff. Is this true? If so, the Picc drivers are better off than us District drivers anyway seeing as all we're offered are dodgy sarnies!

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