London Overground

London Overground workers to strike

Published on: Thu, 21/03/2019 - 11:47

Travel Safe Officers employed by the STM Agency on the London Overground (Arriva Rail London) contract will strike on 2 April.

The workers, who do platform and on-train work for London Overground, face a pay freeze, despite already being low-paid.

RMT will demonstrate outside Arriva Rail London's headquarters, next to Swiss Cottage Tube station, at 10am on 2 April.

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campaigners at Hackney Downs station

Stop London Overground Ticket Office Closures!

Published on: Wed, 24/10/2018 - 11:32

Following in London Underground's footsteps, London Overground now plans to close nearly all its ticket offices.

Fifty-one are scheduled to close, although the plan has the small matter of a public consultation to navigate first. We know from bitter experience that cuts-driven decision-makers are inclined to ignore consultations, however decisive the public opposition, but it is harder to ignore mobilised opposition. RMT and community activists have been out campaigning against the closures, distributing thousands upon thousands of leaflets and postcards. Labour Parties and Councillors in hard-hit boroughs such as Hackney have spoken out against the plan.

London Underground workers know why this is such a bad idea. We are dealing daily with passengers whom we could help more if we had an open ticket office to refer them to. If they go ahead, these closures will make Underground staff's workload even worse, as passengers arrive from Overground stations having been unable to buy the ticket or get the information or assistance they need.

Support the campaign to keep London Overground ticket offices open!

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Resist ticket office closure on London Overground!

Published on: Fri, 21/09/2018 - 16:46

London Overground, operated by Arriva Rail London on a contract from TfL, is planning a mass programme of ticket office closures that closely resembles the "Fit for the Future" scheme we went to war against on London Underground in 2014.

RMT has launched a campaign against the closures, with a day of action planned on 3 October. Read more about it here.

Although these workers have a different employer, they're part of the London transport system and in some locations work alongside LU staff. Their struggles are our struggles, let's support them!

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Overground Nightmares

Published on: Sun, 11/03/2018 - 18:20

Spare a thought for the staff and passengers of Highbury and Islington station, which is now served by the Night Overground service as well as Night Tube.
When this was first announced, staff and our unions had plenty of issues to raise with management, not least of all minimum numbers, staffing levels, cleaning and emergency procedures. Bear in mind that following a recent uprating, Highbury now has to carry out hourly security checks, and Night Overground has added three platforms to the scope of the checks.
Nevertheless, our intrepid management proceeded to ignore staff's concerns. Then, just when we thought the start date of Night Overground from Highbury would have to be put back, it was brought forward to the last weekend in February!
Not that management bothered to tell the staff. With all the issues still outstanding, it took some intense fuss-making over the week before to get any answers.
The first weekend went off without any major disasters, partly because management arranged for the gaps to be filled by police and Overground Travel Safe Officers. Since then, though, the station has had to contend with no such assistance, with promised extra staff not materialising, inadequate cleaning coverage, and a violent assault on staff.
This scenario will doubtless sound familiar to staff at Canada Water, the first station to be connected with the Night Overground, which also saw extra help for a short while, only to be left to their own devices within a few weeks.
What a way to run a railway.

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Overground Night Service

Published on: Fri, 15/12/2017 - 22:09

Spare a thought for those staff affected by London Overground's night service, which kicks off tonight.

The Overground stations will be staffed by security guards, if they are staffed at all. And the affected London Underground stations? Who knows? There has been practically zero consultation with our unions about how the stations will deal with the extra demand.

While the Overground night service isn't stopping at any Underground services - for now - LUL stations may well take a hit from punters who have heard that there is a night service on the Overground and expect it to be running from their station.

Management are fast running out of time to get arrangements sorted for when London Overground's night coverage expands in the Spring.

We may have to make them wake up and smell the coffee.

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Wot No Overground Staff?

Published on: Thu, 06/10/2016 - 15:42

London Overground plans to remove all its staff from stations run by LUL from next month.

At these stations - such as Canada Water and Highbury & Islington - Overground staff are an essential complement to Underground staff, dealing with incidents, last trains, passenger assistance and so on. Taking them away is an unacceptable cut to Overground jobs and an extra workload for Underground staff at those locations.

Management of both companies are in a flap now their plans have been rumbled. We need more staff not fewer - and we can stop this cut!

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Water Load Of Rubbish

Published on: Fri, 24/04/2015 - 16:49

Canada Water station (on the Jubilee Line and London Overground) is to be renamed "Buxton Water" for a day on Sunday 26 April, to tie in with Buxton's co-sponsorship of the London Marathon which takes place that day.

This is the first time a Tube station has been named after a commercial sponsor. The wall roundels at Canada Water will all be changed, and special commercially-branded artwork will be added. TfL will be making a nice little profit out of the whole venture - around £110,000.

Tubeworker hardly knows where to start with this nonsense. We're supposed to be running a public railway, not a billboard for private companies. We've known for years the Tory-backed bosses at LUL and TfL are desperate to get more private revenue into our workplaces ("Click-and-collect" points for online retailers that have replaced ticket offices are already with us), and they pocketed millions by letting Emirates sponsor the (comically underused) "Air Line" cable car and plaster their logo all over our maps.

If the Tories get back in on 8 May, and if they hold onto power in City Hall after Boris is gone, we can expect to see much, much more of this sort of thing. Be under no illusion: LUL's status as a publicly-owned company is not safe.

Comments

Submitted by Tubeworker on Fri, 24/04/2015 - 17:48

In this current economic climate, and given TfL/LUL's financial obsessions, how about some further name changes?
Gold Street
Run-on-the Bank
Cutsy Sark

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Overground Guards Strike Back

Published on: Tue, 27/08/2013 - 08:44

Two days of solid strike action have seen London Overground guards seriously crank up the momentum of their fight to save their jobs.

There was well-organised picketing at all three booking-on locations - Willesden, Gospel Oak and Stratford - and very little scabbing. At least two drivers refused to cross the guards' picket line. (There is now a minuted agreement that people will not be disciplined for respecting picket lines - remember this when the next strike is held!).

Pickets - and union activists who leafleted in the the preceding week - reported high levels of support from the travelling public. Not surprisingly, passengers do not want the guards removed from their trains. Some said that the reason that they use this Overground line is that it has guards. They are concerned about personal security, about disability access, about trains leaving platforms in safety, and about serious incidents. Indeed, less that 24 hours after the strike, there was smoke on a Southeastern train, and in the absence of a guard and the driver apparently not knowing what was happening, passengers scrambled out of the train onto the track!

On London Underground, we are supposed to believe that guards are some quaint antiquity and that we are managing fine without them. But those who remember guards generally would prefer to have them back. There have been numerous horrific (or near-horrific) PTI incidents since we went OPO, which the company has somehow got away with leading to calls for guards to be restored.

The London Overground guards' strike had a strong impact, closing whole sections of the line. Management are now under pressure, so we must step things up - we can not allow the bank holiday strike to be a token gesture that lets off steam but does not stop the jobs cull. RMT had, rightly, already decided before this strike to ballot all grades of London Overground members - after all, the plan to scrap guards affects everyone. The union needs to get on with that ballot promptly; we can be confident that other grades will support the guards, especially now that they have seen them stand up for their own jobs with a two-day strike.

We must also remember what this strike is demanding - keep the guards! It is not about getting management to offer a better severance and redeployment deal, and our union officials must be clear that we do not want it to be nudged in that direction.

Having escalated the fightback to all Overground workers, we also need to escalate it to all other workers who face similar attacks - in particular, all companies in the TfL orbit, and all guards across the country. Several mainline companies went 'DOO' (Driver-Only Operation; what the Underground calls 'OPO') several years ago. But many still have guards, who can easily see that if London Overground succeeds in scrapping guards, they will be next. Similarly, this move by London Overground results from the 12.5% cut in TfL's funding; but on its own, it will not save all the money, so the cutters will soon be coming for the rest of us.

With unity and solidarity, we can stop them in their tracks!

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Defend London Overground Conductors

Published on: Sun, 07/07/2013 - 21:35

Hot on the heels of George Osborne announcing a 12.5% cut in Transport for London's funding, TfL franchisee London Overground has revealed that it is to scrap conductors.

In fact, the company send a courier to deliver letters to conductors telling them that their jobs are to go. Thanks very much.

We need to fight this - and the conductors deserve the support of workers across TfL. Don't be tempted to think that because guards are long gone on the Underground, others should share our fate. Quite the opposite - we should learn from our failure to save Tube guards, and put every effort into saving them on the Overground.

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