Tube Lines

Vote for strikes to stop “Transformation” cuts

Published on: Thu, 20/06/2019 - 13:14

As TfL/LU push ahead with cuts planned under its “Transformation” process, RMT is balloting affected members for strikes and other industrial action. Workers affected include all ex-Tube Lines members, Palestra House (LUCC) Service Control, Signals, Skills Development, and Track Access Control.

The “Transformation” scheme, which has already claimed dozens of jobs in admin grades, threatens potentially thousands more. A planned three-day strike by fleet workers recently forced LU to back off from plans to extend train preparation schedules; strikes across affected grades could throw a spanner in the works of “Transformation”.

RMT must also plan to spread the dispute to other grades if initial action by the affected workers doesn’t get results.

The ballot opens on 26 June, and close on 16 July. Resist the cuts: vote yes/yes!

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ETO Strike Solid

Published on: Sun, 05/02/2017 - 11:24

Engineering Train Operators are out on strike this weekend after management introduced job cuts into talks about restructuring and pay - and further action is planned.

For around nine months, talks have been taking place between Tube Lines, RMT and ASLEF about new Engineering Train Operator grades and pay rates, which are supposed to be in place by 1 March. Just when the unions thought they were on the home straight to reaching an agreement, management rolled a grenade into the room: they want to make redundancies to fund the pay rise - despite the unions having already agreed to various productivity measures.

The ETOs and both unions have responded in the most effective way possible: a solid strike with more to follow. Tube Lines management can be in no doubt that they will not get willing agreement to sell jobs for pay.

Every job matters.

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Tube Lines pay and pensions win

Published on: Fri, 11/11/2016 - 12:54

Tube Lines staff have won their long fight for pensions and pay parity with other LU workers. A long-running union campaign has secured equal access to the TfL Pension Fund for all existing and future Tube Lines staff, as well as a pay uplift at the same level secured across the rest of LU.

The disparity between Tube Lines workers and other LU workers was a legacy of the disastrous Public Private Partnership (PPP), a failed experiment in outsourcing and privatisation. Union members in Tube Lines never gave up their fight for reintegration and equality, a fight in which they have now won significant victories.

Their example should inspire other outsourced workers to step up their fight for equality.

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Bring It All In House!

Published on: Thu, 25/08/2016 - 21:07

The full reintegration of former "TubeLines" engineering maintenance work on the Jubilee, Northern, and Piccadilly Lines into LUL represents the culmination of a years-long union campaign to bring outsourced work back in house. Their continued outsourcing was a legacy of the disastrous "Public Private Partnership".

It is a testament to the resolve of members and reps in those depots who stood firm through a number of disputes and never abandoned the aspiration to fully reverse the privatisation.

It shows that, despite their apparent obsession with outsourcing everything that moves, LUL can sometimes be pushed to reverse outsourcing and reintegrate. With possible strikes ahead against outsourcing on fleet, and cleaning contracts up in the air due to LUL's plans to consolidate them into a single "super contract" next year, unions should press their advantage and go on the offensive to demand an end to outsourcing.

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Engineers: Vote Yes for Strikes!

Published on: Sat, 09/01/2016 - 18:53

Engineers in the RMT are currently taking part in two strike ballots, both concluding on 28 January.

TubeLines staff are being balloted for strikes over pay. Reps overwhelmingly rejected a settlement (which also covers proposed pay and terms conditions arrangements for the proposed "Night Tube") that was equivalent to the deal offered to LU staff, which unions have also rejected.

Meanwhile, a ballot is underway for strikes over track safety. New LU procedures have severely eroded the protections previously in place for use of the track. There was an incident on Piccadilly Line track on 10 December, where track workers only avoided serious accident after a technician alerted them that an engineering train was heading towards them. There is no excuse for this kind of near miss!

We need proper procedures in place to protect us when we're working on the track. LU's Section 15 possession procedures are a fatal accident waiting to happen.

Vote yes for strikes on pay and safety!

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Off The Rails

Published on: Tue, 21/04/2015 - 11:46

The job's well and truly up the wall on the Central line today, following last night's engineering train derailmemt.

The battery-powered ballast train derailed its last bogie and clattered into the wall, sending four on board to hospital, including the tamper driver. The good news is that all have been released, with the main injury bring whiplash.

Recovery work was held up when the HMRI/RAIB quarantined the area so they could identify the cause. After initial suspicion of a broken rail, it now seems that the train itself was faulty. We will not be surprised to see an unseemly blame game between LUL and Tube Lines, with the betting on Tube Lines to come off worse.

With the original estimated time for rerailing the train now past, it looks like that section of the line could be out of action all day. Which, of course, means chaos and congestion on the rest of the Central line and beyond. Overcrowding saw Wanstead, South Woodford and other stations closing during the morning peak and beyond, and central London stations taking a hammering.

Spare an extra thought, though, for Leytonstone, rammed out with passengers and the location where trains are being turned. Management seem to think this station can manage with around half its current staffing levels from next year. Fit for the future? We think not.

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Tube Lines, Thales: Prepare to strike!

Published on: Wed, 15/04/2015 - 01:30

RMT members at Tube Lines have overwhelmingly rejected a company proposal to remove rostered rest days. The union is now preparing a strike ballot.

At Thales (one of the companies which provides and maintains various technical infrastructure to LU), workers have voted by 80% for strikes, and action-short-of-strikes, in a dispute against potential job losses and propose roster changes.

Reps from Tube Lines and Thales should discuss with reps and activists from elsewhere across LU to work out the best ways of linking up and mutually reinforcing our ongoing fights.

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Tube Lines: What's Occurring?

Published on: Sun, 26/01/2014 - 10:20

For a few years now, Tube Lines workers have been fighting for equal pensions and passes. Readers will no doubt recall strike action over the issue. But that was a long time ago now, and while they did win staff passes, staff who joined Tube Lines since it formed under the notorious PPP still do not have the right to join the TfL Pension Fund on the same terms as everyone else.

Management have conceded the 'principle' of equal pensions and are looking for ways to fund it. Surprise, surprise - they reckon getting rid of nearly 500 jobs (in both LU and Tube Lines) should do the trick!

The unions should be calling new strikes on Tube Lines. The connection between Tube Lines pensions and passes and the threats to all our jobs could not be clearer. RMT has done well getting LU, TfL and DLR workers all out on strike together, but has not yet brought Tube Lines into the fray. It should do.

Tubeworker topics

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Tube Lines Reintegration is a Trojan Horse

Published on: Sat, 16/03/2013 - 16:32

Tube Lines to be reintegrated into London Underground! The headline on management's bulletin wanted us to believe that this was all good news, in the manner of Cilla Black reuniting long-lost siblings.

But read past the headline and you will see two big devils in the detail: firstly, that only support and projects staff are coming back in (to TfL and LU APD, respectively), not maintenance workers; and that the transferring staff will not be allowed to join the TfL Pension scheme.

This is a very dangerous new development. We might have rows with management about contractors, private employees etc being allowed to join the fund, but it has always been the case that directly-employed LUL and TfL staff have been allowed to join it. This is a departure from that, with potentially-catastrophic consequences, not just for these workers but for all of us.

The Pension Fund's income is the contributions from its members and their employers. With hundreds of former Tube Lines workers excluded, a major income stream is cut off and the Fund becomes weaker and less reliable for all of us. This is the money that sustains us in retirement.

Defending ourselves against this attack is a fight for every single one of us.

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Tube Lines: Crank Up The Pressure

Published on: Fri, 18/01/2013 - 09:44

Tube Lines' new management - aka. London Underground Ltd! - need a little time to think about whether they can afford to meet our demand for equal pensions and passes, apparently.

They reckon they might be able to afford it if we make some sacrifices: or jobs, pay and conditions, perhaps? They seem to be forgetting that equality is our RIGHT, not something that we should have to pay for. The company can look elsewhere for the cost, perhaps into their own overstuffed pockets, or to the wasteful system of contracts and consultants that litters their outfit.

While the employers ponder, we should concentrate their minds with some renewed industrial action. This could be boosted if ASLEF were to join RMT in this battle, and if the union maintains its improved communication of the issues to rank-and-file members.

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