"HMP Hammersmith"

Posted in Tubeworker's blog on Thu, 20/08/2020 - 08:40,
HMP Hammersmith

Reposted from the RMT Service Control website.

Prior to opening Hammersmith Service Control Centre was promised to be a breath of fresh air for Service Control and Technical staff with a state of the art control centre and facility for all. What came to light was a poorly designed concrete block with more hot air then fresh and a control centre lacking in facilities. Not to mention the accidental release of the fire suppression system in the computer room which could of killed all the staff working next door in the control centre.

For all these reasons and the failings by LU to get builders in and bring the centre up to standard it has become known by many nicknames, but the one that sticks most is HMP Hammersmith. Not just because of its prison like appearance and appalling facilities but because the only way out of the room is with a lifetime sentence and retiring; with all staff moves being blocked.

Staff are fed up and just don’t want to be there anymore , they have no faith in false promises of improvements that will be just round the corner and never come to fruition.


Back in February 2020 the RMT NEC (National Executive Committee) heard a resolution from the members to go into a state of dispute over the control centre and passed it with their full support. Coronavirus then hit which put a hold on the dispute but the RMT are now picking it back up as the staff have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic with no improvements in the building in site.


To make the situation even worse with such a high leavers rate LU decided to pull its biggest and most antagonising move yet by asking retired staff to come back and man the desks. Backing staff into a corner fearing for their future rights and contracts with these retirees being brought back on zero hour contracts, not knowing whether this might happen to them too!


Staff have waited long enough to see improvements or even works take place to get on the road to improvements, but so far... nothing. Not a hammer, not a drill, not even a pipe for a new toilet. The constant excuses of planning and surveys always seem to crop up so we have two simple demands for LU:

1) A guarantee when will work physically begin on site to start rectifying these issues

2) A guarantee when will work be completed and appropriate facilities be ready for use of control rooms staff


To help LU bring the control centre up to an acceptable standard we have put together a handy check list for of issues. We’re sure with such big projects such as crossrail TFL and LU can find a few contractors and get these issues finally dealt with and put some solid guarantees in place for staff and the RMT to resolve this dispute.

  • Not enough control room toilets
  • No full size control room kitchen
  • No control room mess facilities
  • In-adequate seating & chairs
  • Poor building access routes
  • Sub-standard control room lighting
  • Not enough lockers & a poorly located locker room
  • Poor cleaning
  • Poor building management
  • No on-site parking
  • Staff risking and experiencing assaults when walking to the control centre
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