Fight Station Staff Cuts

Posted in Tubeworker's blog on Wed, 07/09/2005 - 17:02,

Well, there's a surprise (not). Management have come back with re-drafted stations rosters with a few posts given back. They are hoping that we will accept these because they are slightly less awful than the last lot. Unfortunately for LUL, we are not stupid and will not fall for this crass trick.

Their other trick is to create winners and losers, hoping that it will divide us against each other. Staff on groups that are gaining posts may now be anxious to accept the rosters and get on with the shorter working week. But remember that there are other groups where stations are being stripped of staff, displacing people from locations they have worked at for 20 years or more.

The 7 July bombings do not so much change the situation as reaffirm what we have said all along - that London Underground faces a terrorist threat, that it needs adequate staffing to deal with it, and that therefore, these draft rosters could cost lives.

With one face, LUL praises our sterling efforts and extols the virtues of staff presence and visibility. Then with the other, it plans to de-staff stations and make everyone more vulnerable. The public sees the first face of LUL. Perhaps it's time they saw the real one too. We know that passengers would back our objections to staff cuts.

Should we just pull out of the shorter working week deal to avoid the staffing carnage? No way! Station staff should not have to give up our 35-hour week, nor to go back to square one and wait even longer for our long-overdue cut in hours.

The rosters 'consultations' locally have done little more than go through the motions, with union reps putting a strong case but management largely ignoring them. In some groups, the 'consultation' has been a shambles.

As for the negotiations at 'top' level - who knows? Local reps and rank-and-file members are not getting enough information from the unions.

What we do know is that words will only take us so far, and that we have to prepare for action. It should concentrate management's minds if station staff show willing to fight.

Stations de-staffing will affect other grades too. Drivers will have a lot less help available, as will signallers - who also face their own job cuts and displacements.

The unions should not rule out industrial action by other grades alongside station staff. Together, we are stronger.

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