Stop Job Cuts

Give and take?

Published on: Thu, 27/02/2020 - 14:46

A new roster is due at Oxford Circus on 29 March, due to the creation of an additional CSA position. That new job is the result of a long fight by unions locally to increase the staffing level; RMT members on Bakerloo South called strikes over the issue in December 2018 and January 2019, which were subsequently suspended when management promised a staffing review.

The new job is an outcome of that review – short of what union reps demanded, but a small step forward nonetheless.

Following union pressure, similar staffing reviews have taken place elsewhere, including on the Northern Edgware cover group, where management have agreed to add three new jobs (two Night Tube CSAs and one part-time CSS).

But all is not rosy in the garden. For every area where union pressure has forced management to create new jobs, there seems to be a rogue Area Manager looking to cut them. At Chancery Lane/St. Paul’s, the AM has decided, entirely unilaterally, to delete two CSS positions and replace them with one additional CSM position, leading to a net reduction in head count and forcibly displacing the CSSs whose positions the AM appears to think aren’t required.

RMT’s new “Justice for Station Staff” campaign, one of the demands of which is for a comprehensive staffing review across the job to increase staffing levels, is sorely needed!

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Sodexo plans cuts

Published on: Wed, 05/02/2020 - 14:11

Sodexo, the outsourcing giant which has a contract with LU to provide catering services in staff canteens, is planning a restructure which could see 18 jobs slashed. The proposed reductions would see the staff canteen at Stonebridge Park fleet depot reduced to a single member of staff!

RMT activists are planning a fightback. Some branches are already making links with other unions organising Sodexo workers, including the United Voices of the World. UVW members working for Sodexo on a contract for the Imperial NHS Trust recently won direct employment following a campaign of strikes.

This shows that outsourcing can be beaten; our aim should be to not only defeat Sodexo's planned cuts, but win direct employment for canteen workers.

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Overground Ticket Offices Hours to be Cut

Published on: Mon, 20/01/2020 - 12:40

A strong campaign by RMT and local Labour Parties made London Overground drop its plans to close nearly all of its ticket offices. But the company now plans to go ahead with cutting their opening hours, despite objections.

But it's not a done deal yet, so our campaign goes on. Stations left with a ticket office for just two-and-a-half hours a day can not provide the serivde that passengers need and are doubless a step on the road to full closure. And of course, it's not just services that are threatened - it is jobs.

The cuts will also have a knock-on effect on London Underground stations, which will have to deal with people arriving from LO stations without tickets or with the wrong ticket - and we don't have ticket offices available to help them either!

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Defend RCI jobs!

Published on: Wed, 13/11/2019 - 11:44

Unions have long been pressing LU to fill the vacancies in the revenue department, which have gone unfilled for over a decade. The point has also been made that there may be some connection between the £90 million the company says it loses in lost revenue and the fact that it has deliberately understaffed the revenue department.

Recent spikes in workplace violence have brought the issue to a head, with many workers arguing that an increase in RCI numbers would improve workplace safety.

LU has finally made a long-awaited announcement about a potential restructure in revenue; rather than filling the vacancies, it plans to effectively scrap RCI jobs by shipping in secondees from other grades on worse terms and conditions than existing RCIs.

This is yet another attack on stations, which demonstrates our bosses' lackadaisical attitude to our safety.

While Tubeworker would ultimately like to see a free public transport system, funded by taxing the rich, until we get there, revenue collection will be necessary, and properly trained and licensed LU RCIs are an infinitely better option for improving workplace safety than relying on the BTP or, worse, private security guards.

Plans are already afoot for an industrial response, and the issue certainly needs to be taken up as part of any developing dispute over station staffing and workplace safety.

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Transformation ballot halted

Published on: Tue, 23/07/2019 - 11:22

RMT’s ballot of workers in engineering, signals, and other departments to fight Transformation job cuts has been halted.

The result was due back on 16 July, but the union pulled the ballot before the announcement. The official reason is that RMT plans to expand the number of workers balloted.

Large ballots are difficult to win, but as the recent example from the fleet dispute against extended train prep shows, it can be done.

The ballot should be resumed as soon as possible.

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Demonstrate at City Hall!

Published on: Tue, 18/06/2019 - 12:00

RMT has called a demo outside City Hall on Thursday 20 June. It demands “no Tory cuts under a Labour mayor”, pressing Sadiq Khan not to pass on Tory austerity to transport workers and users in London.

The two specific focuses are the “Transformation” scheme, which threatens thousands of jobs in engineering and admin roles, and the struggles of outsourced workers.

The demo assembles from 10:00. Tubeworker will be there, and we hope you will be too.

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Fleet workers win train prep fight

Published on: Wed, 15/05/2019 - 09:13

You can almost hear the grinding of gritted teeth...

Industrial action by LU Fleet workers, and the threat of a three-day strike from 17-20 May, has forced LU bosses into an embarrassing climb-down over their plans to extend train prep schedules. An Employee Bulletin announced the bosses' defeat on 14 May, with the company saying it had "decided not to change the frequencies" of train checks.

Quite simply, the company has caved in, for the very simple reason that fleet workers would have stopped the job if they hadn't! It's trade unionism in action: workers organising to exercise our democratic right to withdraw our labour to defend our conditions at work.

It's good that RMT has not settled the dispute with the company over this matter, which means we will still be able to strike, or take further action, at two weeks' notice if the company tries to bring the plans back in some other form over the next six months.

Hopefully we can use the momentum from this victory to spur us on in other fights, including the fight against "Transformation" job cuts and over LU pay/conditions.

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Wot no Night Cleaners?

Published on: Mon, 13/05/2019 - 21:47

Station staff in sefveral locations have been shocked to find out that the number of night cleaners on their station has been cut, without any notice or discussion.

And the cleaners involved have been told - often verbally, at just one day's notice - that there is no more work for them.

Under instruction from the Mayor and TfL, cleaning contractor ABM is reducing its use of agencies. But the point, surely, is to replace reliance on agencies with directly employing cleaners. Instead, seeing the opportunity to cut costs and boost profits, ABM is reducing reliance on agencies by ... sacking the agency cleaners.

This leaves cleaners suddenly out of work, and stations desperately under-staffed, including, for example, Brixton and Highbury and Islington stations reduced to just one cleaner on nights.

We can stop this appalling attack if we challenge it on three fronts - cleaners fighting the job cuts, station staff fighting the loss of cleaners, and all of us raising it as a political issue, demanding that our Labour Mayor intervene to stop this.

RMT activists are already going into action; the more of us join this campaigning, the better our chances of success.

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A year of unstaffed stations!

Published on: Sat, 30/03/2019 - 14:03

A recent Freedom of Information request lodged by the RMT revealed that Tube stations were left unstaffed for a cumulative total of 7,500 hours across the whole network in 2018, the equivalent of 312 days.

LU's now infamous claim that "all stations will be staffed, from first to last trains" lies in absolute tatters.

Tube users who don't want to use or travel through unstaffed stations, where there's no-one to ask for help and no-one to assist in an incident, should support Tube workers in our industrial and political campaigns for a reversal of job cuts, better funding, and fully-staffed Tube.

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"Transformation" rolls on: strikes can stop it in its tracks

Published on: Sat, 30/03/2019 - 13:56

As part of the latest phase of the TfL/LUL "Transformation" programme, management has announced sweeping job cuts in Track Access Control, Power Control, Service Control, LUCC, Skills Development, Waste, Pumps, Stations Building & Civils, and Signals Incidents.

Workers who play a vital role in maintaining the safe running of the Tube could see their jobs deleted and find themselves redeployed or forced out of the door.

Unions were hampered in fighting the previous stage of "Transformation", that saw stations admin jobs slashed, partially due to a low density of membership but partially also due to a sluggishness in terms of mobilising a campaign on the shopfloor beyond the negotiations.

We need to learn from that this time. Union density in the affected areas this time is higher, which should put us in a better position to fight back. The cuts have been announced; we must resist. Ballot for strikes now!

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