Staff across the job have been shocked to hear about the brutal assault on our workmates at West Ham station last Wednesday. Tubeworker sends our solidarity to those involved and is pleased to hear about the great support they are getting from colleagues. Not so much from management, though, we hear.
In response to this, we need concrete action: not crocodile tears, and not sticking-plaster attempts to use inadequate technological fixes to address the problem.
Concrete demands follow from the key issues in the assault:
- This station repeatedly has uncovered duties and people working alone on a gateline where they are vulnerable: so we need a clear commitment from LUL that all uncovered duties are covered, and that lone working ends - not just working alone on a station, but working alone on a vulnerable part of a station.
- This is also rooted in the de-staffing of stations over recent years. We need an immediate increase in staffing levels, through the recruitment of permanent LUL staff, not agencies or securiety guards.
- It was shocking how easily the assailant were able to kick down the door to get to the staff they assaulted. Flimsy doors must be replaced immediately (rather than the rolling programme that management have promised).
- We need a secure and accessible place of safety in every part of every station.
We understand why staff are asking for bodycams, but as CCTV didn't deter these assailants, so it seems unlikely that bodycams would. And we worry that management will use bodycams (or an increase in police numbers) as an excuse to refuse demands like no lone working or covering all duties.