LU's risible red tabards have been officially launched, but if the response at many stations is anything to go by, the launch is something of a damp squib.
Staff in numerous locations are simply not wearing the tabards, with CSSs and CSMs believing, rightly, that their job is to run the station, not enforce LU's daft cosmetic exercise. So far management aren't cracking the whip, with refuseniks being asked to write memos, but nothing more. That could change, however, and Tubeworker reiterates our view that individuals refusing in ones and twos might not be wise, but collective refusal-to-wear by everyone, or at least a significant proportion of people, on a particular shift should be organised wherever possible. As we're not an official union publication, or linked to any union, we can say that without risk of legal reprisal.
RMT is not instructing or advising members to refuse to wear the tabards. However, an RMT ballot for official action-short-of-strikes to refuse to wear the tabards is on its way, and in the meantime, the union has committed to defend any member facing discipline for refusing to wear one, or refusing the enforcing their wearing. Does LU really want to pick a fight with its own frontline staff over a bit of fabric?
Some might argue that it's not worth the union scrapping over either, but the fact is, the tabards are a slap in the face to a stations workforce who've seen frontline staffing levels cut and cut again over the years, only to be told by the bosses who made the cuts that the problem isn't numbers but simply that we're not wearing bright enough clothing! Resisting the tabards isn't the biggest battle we'll ever fight but it is about having some basic self-respect and not allowing LU's hypocrisy to go without protest and challenge.
To add a further element of farce to the whole affair, there's an official LU health and safety document doing the rounds which says the tabards aren't compulsory after all. That's contradicted by other documentation saying they are, but at the very least it shows LU doesn't really know what it's doing.