Central line

Strike dates adjusted on Victoria and Central lines

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 22/08/2019 - 14:54

The dates for the Central and Victoria Line strikes have been adjusted to 3-4 September (20:00 to 20:00), after reps and activists argued that the initial dates (29-30 August) would be less impactful.

Although altering dates after initially announcing them can be a bit of a messy business, it seems like the new dates will be more effective.

It’s a good lesson in why meetings of rank-and-file reps and activists should be the forum for making these decisions in the first place.

Tubeworker topics

All out on the Vic and Central!

Submitted by Tubeworker on Sun, 18/08/2019 - 22:22

Drivers on the Victoria and Central Lines are ready for action, with a strike due from 20:00 on Thursday 29 August to 20:00 on Friday 30 August. This will affect services all day on Friday.

These disputes follow a pattern we’ve seen elsewhere on the combine recently, including on the Piccadilly Line, where drivers struck last year. Depot bosses are throwing their weight around, misapplying and breaching company procedure, and generally treating drivers in an authoritarian and heavy-handed way.

As the general picture is common across multiple depots, it’s good the strikes are being coordinated on two lines. There is a question mark over whether a single day’s strike on a Friday is the most effective or impactful action that could’ve been called: the next step should be to escalate action by striking for longer, including bringing out Night Tube drivers, and to look for opportunities to spread disputes to other lines.

Tubeworker topics

Action needed over noise levels

Submitted by Tubeworker on Wed, 03/07/2019 - 11:43

RMT is considering a ballot of driver members on five lines - Victoria, Central, Northern, Jubilee, and Piccadilly - over noise levels.

LU has installed “Pandrol Vanguard” technology on the tracks in an attempt to reduce train noise at street level... with the effect that noise is forced into the cab and cars, affecting drivers and passengers.

This fix is not good enough. We want a proper engineering solution, and in the meantime a temporary speed restriction in place over affected areas to reduce noise.

If LU won’t agree to that, industrial action short of strikes to drive at reduced speed over affected track will be necessary.

Cash for Access?

Submitted by Tubeworker on Mon, 01/07/2019 - 08:57

It's lovely to see the sparkling new improved westbound access ramp at South Woodford station. We are all in favour of improved access for mobility-impared people and people encumbered with luggage or buggies.

Shame that in its wisdom, LUL has installed BANK CARD ONLY ticket machines in the new entrance, forcing any mobility-impared people to have to make an arduous trip via a deep subway over to the eastbound booking hall and back again if they want or need to pay with cash. This assumes of course that the machines on the eastbound are actually in working order.

It seems that once again, efficient extraction of money is a higher priority for the company than accessibility.

Central Line fight needs strikes

Submitted by Tubeworker on Tue, 28/05/2019 - 17:18

Central Line drivers in RMT recently returned a thumping majority for new strikes in a long-running dispute against bullying bosses. Click here for our report from the time.

So far, no action has been called. It's been over a month. Many drivers are starting to ask why. The dispute hasn’t been resolved, and the exceptional turnout and high majority for strikes in the ballot shows there is a mood to fight. So why hasn’t the union named dates?

Strikes need to be named as soon as possible.

Tubeworker topics

Central Line drivers vote for strikes

Submitted by Tubeworker on Sat, 30/03/2019 - 13:53

Forced to re-ballot due to the stipulations of the anti-union laws, RMT drivers on the Central Line have smashed the thresholds required by those laws and delivered another massive vote for strikes. West Ruislip depot led the way in percentage terms, with 96% of drivers voting for strikes on a 96% turnout!

The dispute is over what the union calls "a breakdown in industrial relations". In other words, that means an out-of-control management arbitrarily wielding petty discipline and managing drivers in an unnecessarily heavy-handed way.

Following this new vote, those bosses can be in no doubt of the strength of feeling in the depot. And they certainly won't be when drivers strike and stop the job.

LUL's Shameful Treatment of Assault Victim

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 21/02/2019 - 13:57

The Employment Tribunal had some choice words for London Underground Ltd as it found the company to have unfairly dismissed Sharma Jagrup after he was assaulted at work. The Tribunal has ordered LUL to reinstate Sharma to his CSS2 post on the Central Line, with all his back pay and pension contributions restored.

LUL chose to sack Sharma just three months after he was assaulted by by a group of around twenty people, and while he was still dealing with the impact on his mental health. The company didn't bother with redeployment or alternative duties. We look forward to LUL 's next 'mental health awareness' campaign.

The judgment is a damning indictment not just of the managers involved but of LUL as a company. And it vindicates the unions and their activists and members who have been demanding for a long time that the company show proper care to victims of violence instead of the dismissive and victim-blaming response that we usually see.

In particular, LUL must urgently reconsider - and drop - its outrageous disciplinary action against Zahra Tirmazi.

Issues and Campaigns

Central Line strikes off, but fight on the line must continue and spread

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 20/12/2018 - 17:13

RMT has suspended the strike of Central Line drivers planned for 21-22 December, which sought the reinstatement of sacked driver Paul Bailey, citing "new evidence" presented by management. The union's statement can be read here.

Whatever this "new evidence" is, it's something management have clearly been sitting on since the dispute began. Whether cock-up or conspiracy prevented them from releasing it until now, it's scandalous that they haven't done so. RMT has fought against a mismanaged procedure on the basis of the facts the union had available, and were entirely right to do so. Paul's case will now continue at Employment Tribunal, where those arguments about LU's woeful mishandling of the case can be pursued.

The strike also doubled up as action in a wider dispute about authoritarian management culture on the line. RMT reps says concessions on this have been secured, including a commitment from management to review ongoing attendance and disciplinary cases. Whether these are sufficient to have warranted the suspension of the strike is a difficult call, but it's important that this dispute is not allowed to fade away. We know from the experience of the Picc Line dispute that action may still be necessary to force management to keep to their commitments.

The disputes on the Central Line, Picc Line, and now on the H&C at Barking, where Aslef drivers plan strikes on 10 and 23 January, show that there's an obvious problem across the job with bosses at train depots throwing their weight around. Our unions need to show some joined-up thinking and coordinate the trains side disputes.

Central Line drivers to strike again

Submitted by Tubeworker on Wed, 21/11/2018 - 14:31

Central Line drivers will strike again over 21-22 December, to demand the reinstatement of unjustly sacked colleague Paul Bailey.

Paul was sacked after passing a random drugs test; although he registered for the presence of cannabinoid substances, due to taking hemp supplements, he was within the “cut off limit” of 50ng/ml.

RMT rightly says Paul’s sacking “undermines the integrity of London Underground’s entire drugs and alcohol testing regime.” Management seems to be worried they might be right; they recently issued guidance to staff not to take hemp supplements, even though they are entirely legal and sold on the high street.

The strike doubles up as further action in RMT’s dispute against what it calls a “breakdown in industrial relations” on the line. Translated out of union jargon, this means that drivers are justifiably fed up with being pushed around by bullying bosses, who maintain an increasingly authoritarian culture.

The 21-22 December strike will involve Night Tube drivers on the Central Line, only the second time Night Tube workers have taken industrial action since the service was launched.

The strike is likely to have a huge impact, on what is normally the busiest pre-Christmas shopping weekend of the year. But there’s every possibility one more push won’t be enough. RMT is rightly looking to convene an assembly of driver reps and activists to map out an ongoing strategy for the dispute. A plan needs to be put in place for sustained and escalating action if management don’t back down.

See you on the picket lines!

Tubeworker topics

Central shutdown

Submitted by Tubeworker on Wed, 07/11/2018 - 15:44

Strikes by RMT and Aslef drivers on the Central Line (the Leytonstone depot of which also provides drivers for the Waterloo and City Line) have completely shut the line today, in an impressive display of workers' strength.

The strikes are part of overlapping and parallel disputes. RMT has two disputes, one demanding the reinstatement of Paul Bailey, and another against authoritarian management culture. Aslef's disputes relate to the latter issue, and the unfair sacking of one of their members after a procedural error.

Management spin alleges that Paul Bailey "failed a drugs test". In fact, he registered on a drugs test after taking hemp supplements, but was within the "cut-off" limit for the substance. In essence he was sacked for passing a drugs test. This calls into question the integrity of LU's entire drugs and alcohol testing regime and it's absolutely right that Paul's colleagues are striking to demand his reinstatement.

The issues around management culture closely mirror those over which drivers on the Piccadilly Line recently struck: a culture of petty discipline, hauling drivers in for unnecessary attendance reviews and case conferences, and a heavy-handed attitude to drivers from Service Control. This strike demands dignity at work, and the right not to be pushed around by bullying bosses.

The total shutdown of the lines is a testament to drivers' resolve. But while one day of action may be enough to push management into further talks, it may not be sufficient to secure concessions. If the situation doesn't improve, unions need to give serious consideration to coordinated and sustained strikes.

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