Pushed Around the Pool

Posted in Tubeworker's blog on Tue, 15/05/2012 - 16:55,

Pool operators are being used to cover duties across a line when the other depot is within 45 minutes. This doesn’t mean you book on at your home duty and then cover another location within your duty parameters and then have time to return to your home depot before booking off. It means you could be given a week's worth of duties at the other end of your line. No travelling time, no extra payment.

If a depot is short of drivers it doesn’t need to recruit extra but just shift about the skeletal cover it has. Why have the unions allowed this to happen? London Underground needs fewer drivers the more flexible we allow ourselves to become.

Imagine, you’re due to start a dead early, you have to get up an hour and a half early to get your second or maybe third taxi, only to arrive at a location you are unfamiliar with without a locker to store your belongings. It could mean an extra couple of hours on your day's travel time with no extra pay.

The rule is that if it is over 45 minutes you will be paid, but which depots would this apply to? If you were a pool driver at White City, LU don’t need to send you to Loughton, they can shift you half way down the line to Leytonstone and then move a pool driver from there to Loughton so nobody gets paid for the hassle.

This ‘agreement’ has been in place for a few years, and as is often the case has been recognised as being a bad agreement for drivers but gone unchallenged by the unions as it was previously used less and those affected are often new drivers who don't want to make a fuss as they just started in a new role. Now we have drivers been routinely shunted across London and it is hard for the unions to fight it, as LU can turn around and say this has been a long standing agreement.

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