We all know TfL and LU have a penchant for outsourcing, with cleaning, security and building maintenance, catering, and various aspects of protection and track work all outsourced to exploitative private companies.
Now outsourcing is apparently creeping into Service Control. LU has used an employment agency to reengage retired service controllers on zero hour contracts! These workers have been placed in the middle pay bands, so in reversal of the normal logic of outsourcing, are earning more than some directly-employed staff doing the same job. As the RMT's statement rightly flags up, the use of outsourced agency labour could undermine conditions for all workers. And, as these workers are not recruited or employed by LU, they are not subject to LU policies, despite doing LU work alongside LU employees. If LU needs more Service Controllers it should create additional positions and promote the staff on existing waiting lists who have effectively been skipped over by LU's decision to reengage retired staff via an agency.
Although the number of agency staff involved is currently very low, this sets a dangerous precedent, and RMT has rightly declared a formal dispute with LU over this matter. If the company is allowed to get away with this in Service Control, we could soon see agency workers on zero hour contracts employed as station staff, or elsewhere across the network. Our policy is simple: anyone who works on the Tube should be employed directly, by LU, on LU terms and conditions.