Tubeworker's blog

Don't leave Night Tube workers in the dark

London Underground has told a meeting of the Trains Functional Council, the negotiating body for drivers, comprised of senior bosses plus reps from Aslef and RMT, that it plans to mothball Night Tube, which has been suspended for months, until March 2021.

There's every reason to continue the...

Cashless shouldn't mean heartless

As stations adapt to going largely cashless, some LU managers have taken the opportunity to provide feedback about how good it is that there are fewer homeless people hanging around ticket halls.

As Tubeworker has said previously, unless begging is disruptive or passengers are at risk of being...

Absence Clampdown? Sick!

One of the orchestra of strings attached to the government financial bailout of TfL is that the company now has to report staff absence data to the government.

This is pretty obviously a precursor to 'improving' attendance figures by cracking the whip once we are back to 'normal' times.

But if the...

Backing Down from Attack on Disabled Passengers

When the Tory Government held a gun to the head of TfL and made them sign a bailout deal last week, one thing they had in their sights was disabled people's Freedom Passes.

Yes, in true Tory style, they declared that they would consider restricting the times at which disabled people could use their...

Drivers sent home for making a stand on safety

Aslef is reporting today (18 May) that up to 30 drivers have been sent home after raising safety concerns, including some who raised concerns about not being able to safely distance in staff mess rooms due to the number of drivers on duty.

Some drivers were issued with a letter from their local...

Cleaners in the pandemic: a view from the frontline

A Tube cleaner and RMT activist spoke to Tubeworker about cleaners' struggles in the pandemic.


Being a cleaning worker during this period has been tough. We're absolutely on the frontline. As outsourced workers, many of us feel forgotten about, left behind, and ignored. Our employer, ABM, dismisses...

Funding comes with Tory strings

Mayor Khan needs to brush up on his negotiation skills. Mere hours after he announced TfL was on the verge of running out of money, and services may stop running if additional funding wasn't forthcoming, he managed to secure... a package of less money than is needed, with more strings attached than...

Khan on cuts

It might have taken a global pandemic to force it from him, but Mayor Khan has finally admitted that running a major metropolitan transport system on massively reduced funding simply isn't feasible.

Khan told the media on 14 May that: "Unless the government today gives us confirmation of the grant...

Should stations reopen?

LU has announced in an employee bulletin that it plans to reopen seven of the 37 stations that have been shut during the pandemic - Mansion House, Pimlico, Blackhorse Road, Bounds Green, Bow Road, Bayswater, and Warwick Avenue. It is suggested that this might help relieve congestion at other...

Behind the mask

After weeks of dithering on the issue of masks, TfL has now issued a bulletin stating "there will be a face covering available to all front line colleagues, cleaners and bus drivers who are attending work and would like to wear one."

We can help but note the disparity between this and their previous...

Keys and radios

Across the combine many stations use communal key docks and most station staff don't have their own radio. Without issuing any guidance on this the company still expects us to be alright with it.

Drivers and SRT already have their own radios as do others. Now is the time for LU to give everyone...

A Load of GLAP

Reports reach Tubeworker that some CSS and CSMs are asking CSAs to sit in the GLAP ("Gate Line Assistance Point") on rotation, in stations where the size of the control room and staff numbers mean staff can perfectly safely work from the control room whilst maintaining safe distancing from their...

LU plan to revert to post-pandemic duty schedules on trains

LU have today announced via a bulletin that, from 17 May, they will be reverting back to pre-pandemic duty schedules on trains. This is clearly part of a wider plan to ramp the service back up from 18 May, as part of an anticipated easing of lockdown measures.

The announcement says: "We have [...]...

Wot No Back Pay?!

We were due a new pay settlement in April 2019. Consequently we're now all owed more than a year's back pay, following the agreement of a new deal in late March, amounting to RPI+0.2% for four years (2.7% in year one). The company is currently saying that the back pay will be paid in June or July's...

Is TfL lobbying against social distancing guidance?

In a 30 April presentation to the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), an international umbrella body for public transport providers, TfL director Grant Hobbs stated that, if the 2m guidance on social distancing remains in place, London Underground could only accommodate 13% of its...

End non-essential work on Jubilee Line stations!

Station areas on the east end of the Jubilee Line, including Waterloo, Canary Wharf, West Ham, and Canning Town, seem to be hot-spots for reckless behaviour by managers, seemingly intent on maintaining non-essential work.

Despite the whole job working to Sunday's minimum staffing numbers, revised...

Furloughed cleaners face 20% pay cut

Cleaning contractor ABM has informed RMT reps that will be furloughing some cleaners, possibly including those on long-term distancing from work and some part-time staff. While it has guaranteed to protect jobs, it does not intend to top up the additional 20% of cleaners' salaries, meaning that any...

Workers Memorial Day: make a stand for workers’ rights

Workers Memorial Day, an international day which remembers workers who’ve lost their lives at work, and promotes struggles for safer workplaces today, takes place on Tuesday 28 April.

We’ve lost workmates to this pandemic. Several bus workers have lost their lives, as well, of course, as dozens in...

No pay cut, no jobs lost!

Mayor Khan has taken to BBC Radio London to announce that TfL may run out of money to pay staff by the end of the month, and may need to cut services unless the government steps in.

It’s right that Khan should appeal to the government for funding; this is something he should’ve been doing loudly...

Drivers move to resist timetable imposition

Union reps and branches of both Aslef and RMT are organising to resist LU's imposition of emergency timetables. The company wants to ramp up the train service, but won't provide drivers with adequate PPE, thereby exposing them to greater risk.

As and when lockdown measures ease, the service will...

Furlough can you go?

TfL and LU bosses have announced, via a bulletin from TfL Commissioner Mike Brown, that they intend to explore the use of the government's "Job Retention Scheme" to place some of us on "furlough", essentially a paid leave of absence. The government scheme subsidises 80% of employees' wages, with...

Fleet and engineering workers in the pandemic

Today at Tubeworker we wanted to talk about the plight of our sometimes unseen - despite being dressed head-to-toe in hi-vis gear! - key frontline workers within fleet and engineering.

Many go to work under the cover of darkness or in remote locations unknown to the travelling public, but their...

PIOTs

It’s completely possible to assist a person ill on a train (PIOT) without putting ourselves at risk, yet LUL appear to think we should continue doing so without adequate guidance in place or any PPE to provide protection apart from hand sanitiser!

It’s easy really; observe from a distance, call the...

Don't let managers obstruct new rosters

Tubeworker is aware of several areas where it has been made unnecessarily difficult to implement special pandemic rosters. This is largely due to an unwillingness to engage properly with reps.

We should not be required to cover any duty that is non-essential, and whilst at work we must be assured...

Union pressure wins agreement on shift allocation on ststions

RMT has secured an agreement covering LU stations compelling local managers to implement revised staffing arrangements, to minimise numbers and reduce duty lengths.

This is a significant gain, and will facilitate safer workplaces by maximising distancing and, hopefully, ensuring fewer of us have to...

Staff travel passes for cleaners!

Rank-and-file RMT activists have started a petition to the Mayor of London, demanding staff travel passes for cleaners during the pandemic. You can sign and share the petition here.

This is a long-standing demand of Tube cleaners, and was one of the issues in RMT’s dispute and ballot on ABM towards...

Distancing on stations

When it comes to social distancing in the workplace, there’s a lot of good practise on LU stations right now. Whether due to local management actually having some common sense, or frontline staff simply taking action and implementing distancing measures, we’ve seen such actions taken as:

• The use...

Rogue managers risk lives

We've previously reported on rogue managers putting pressure on staff to attend work rather than following public health guidance to remain at home. Although union reps have done well at responding to and pushing back that pressure in many areas, some managers are continuing to be a problem.

Whether...

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