Say no to drivers' overtime!

Posted in Tubeworker's blog on Fri, 12/06/2020 - 13:00,
An image of a clock displaying "work overtime"

London Underground has announced, more or less out of the blue, that it wants to create the facility for drivers to do overtime and rest day working. This has to be resisted. Tube drivers don't currently do overtime, and that is how it should remain.

We get a relatively decent wage, and if we want to earn more we must all stand on the picket line together to ensure the boss pays us what we are worth.

Overtime isn't a unifying force, it leads to a few people trying to get as many hours as they can, but then when it comes to fighting for a decent basic wage unity falls apart and the boss wins. The long term result? The basic wage drops and we need to work more and more hours overtime just to keep up with paying the bills.

There is another big issue with overtime too. The more flexible we are, the fewer of us LU will need to employ. If, for example a depot with 100 drivers each did a couple of hours of overtime a month, it would mean LU could employ fewer drivers at that depot. Increase the hours of overtime worked and repeat that across the combine and it becomes a serious threat to driver jobs. It is also far easier for LU to cover up shortages, if one person doing a couple of hours extra on the end of a shift means a train stays in service, rather than LU needing to employ an additional person to do that work.

In other grades the issues of overtime are already apparent. We should aspire to a clean wage so that working our basic hours is enough to provide for us financially. When it isn't, we can all fight together for a better wage.

If we want to maintain a relatively decent wage, we need to do it together on the picket line, not on an individual basis with those that can begging for extra hours but all of us suffering in the long term.

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