Tubeworker's blog

Bushy Platforms

Stations and trains staff across the combine have been reporting that bushes and grass have been growing through the cracks on many platforms, including through the yellow lines and near the platform edge. .

This is a serious hazard - especially when wet. The unions have raised it with management...

No Handlamp, No Train

It seems that the company is struggling to maintain drivers' handlamps adequately, perhaps because it is a somewhat, er, niche piece of kit. Management's answer? Suggest to drivers that they break the rules and drive without one. No thanks.

There are some pieces of equipment that we don't use...

Zone 1-6 one way taxi for £65

With the company so insistent they are strapped for cash, Tubeworker wonders how much is being wasted on special taxis. During the bank holiday engineering works on the Picc some drivers were ferried from one end of the line to the other just to carry out a single rounder. At £65 a go, was that...

Anti-union laws hit another ballot

RMT's ballot of fleet workers in depots where LU proposes to impose Automatic Train Control (ATC) for trains going into siding returned a 79% majority for strikes, and an 82% majority for action short of strikes. But as the turnout was just 42%, official (i.e., legal) industrial action can't be...

Fighting for work/life balance at Farringdon

There's no firm launch date for the Elizabeth Line (aka Crossrail), but as the Crossrail sections of the interchange stations begin to open, LU is altering staffing levels at stations like Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, and Liverpool Street.

In most locations, whilst not perfect...

"Four Key Areas"? One Key Response: Fight Back!

A new video on Yammer from Director of Customer Operations Nick Dent, the top boss for stations and trains, reminds us that the "four key areas" LU is looking at for ways to save money (i.e., make cuts) are "vacancies and recruitment", "our ways of working", "enhanced use of technology", and "a...

Say No to ATO! Vote Yes for Action!

RMT is balloting fleet workers at Ealing Common, Neasden, Hearne House, Hammersmith, and Upminster depots for industrial action to resist LU's plan to have trains run in automatic mode ("Automatic Train Operation", ATO; also known as "Automatic Train Control", ATC) in depot sidings.

This is a...

Suspending strikes is a misstep

RMT has called off drivers' strikes against Night Tube grade consolidation, planned for 3-5 August. Whilst we respect the views of comrades who argued for suspension, we believe this decision is wrong.

LU has paused implementation of its grade consolidation plan, and has committed to further...

Strikes suspended, but fight must continue

Since strikes dates were announced, trains reps and activists have been building for action across the combine. We can't squander the good work already done by letting the suspension of strikes drain our momentum. We need to build our resolve and keep focused on the next strike dates, 24-25 and 26...

Pension cuts are coming: prepare to fight!

TfL has now announced the timetable and terms of reference for the company's formal review of our pension scheme. We'll know the options they're considering by 31 October, and there'll be "implementation plan" by 31 March 2022. TfL bosses have said that "retain the status quo" could be a...

No to Fleet Casualisation

Management are showing how they intend to achieve the 'savings' and 'efficiencies' they are desperate to find - by attacking our job security. London Underground Ltd has revealed its plan to extend the use of fixed-term contracts and non-permanent labour (commonly known as temporary workers). LUL...

Tube drivers to strike for 3 August

Following the ballot for strike action over the abolition of the Night Tube drivers grade, RMT have now named two 48 hour strikes (3 - 5 and 24 - 26 August). 87% of drivers voting backed strike action and as RMT heads into talks with ACAS with days already declared, drivers should start building for...

Yammer spammer

Management have been spewing out propaganda against the RMT industrial action, on Yammer, the corporate social media platform.

The bosses do this safe in the knowledge that critical responses will be few and far between due to the threat of disciplinary action for speaking openly on their...

RMT calls it right on strikes

The RMT industrial action over the LU/Aslef plan to scrap the Night Tube driver grade strikes the right balance. A series of dates have been called which will cause serious disruption to London Underground should management not listen to drivers' demands.

The dates 3 and 5 August fall on a...

Not the dirt we clean

ABM cleaners will be on the frontline of cleaning up after boisterous (and then jubilant/despondent - delete as appropriate) football fans enjoying the Euro 2020/1 final today. They'll have to deal with spills, bodily fluids, and heaps of discarded food and drinks packaging.

This is after a...

Bakerloo line: off again, on again

It's been a comical - some might say farcical - day on the Bakerloo, with a flurry of public announcements from the company, each overturning the last.

The company announced that the Bakerloo would finish at 19:00, due to "a shortage of control centre staff who are having to self-isolate". The...

Don't Send Staff to Spread the Virus

Despite being back to normal rosters, stations are struggling with coverage due to sickness absence management not filling vacancies (and not employing enough staff).

CSMs and CSSs do their best to juggle coverage to keep stations open, but there are limits to what is acceptable in order to do...

Unions Reject Sick Covid Policy

Update (2 July): Management have backed down in the face of union opposition. But they have made it clear that they will be back to try this again in future. Tubeworker does not believe that there is any point at which it is OK to discipline someone for not coming to work with a deadly virus. The...

Safety first in mini-outbreaks

With the pandemic very much still ongoing, we're bound to see more mini-outbreaks at workplaces such as stations and depots, with multiple workmates testing positive.

Management must put safety, and not the need to get duties covered, first.

A generic email saying something along the lines of...

Anti-union laws scupper strike

Despite 74% of those who returned their ballot papers voting to strike, RMT will not be able to call action to win reinstatement for unjustly sacked colleague Gary Carney.

With a turnout of 48%, the ballot result falls just short of the arbitrary 50% threshold applied by the Tories' anti-union...

RMT drivers vote for action on grade consolidation

Drivers in the RMT have voted for strikes against LU's abolition of the Night Tube driver grade, and the consolidation of Night Tube shifts into full-time driver rosters.

As we wrote previously: "This will mean fewer train operator jobs, increased night and weekend working for full time train...

Mobilise to resist TfL cuts

A joint meeting of the Company Councils for TfL, LU, and ex-TubeLines, the highest negotiating body in each company, on 23 June reiterated the bosses' position that TfL's financial situation makes cuts inevitable.

Although there was no concrete detail in management's presentation, its essential...

Cash comes back

Cash acceptance will return at stations over the coming weeks.

Overall, this is a good thing - withdrawal of cash acceptance systematically disadvantages poorer passengers, who are less likely to use bank cards, and can lead to increased abuse of staff. Longer term it also threatens jobs, as LU...

No love for Love Island adverts from station staff

Promotional PAs advertising ITV's Love Island at Oxford Circus had to be modified after both passengers and staff found them unbearable. The musical jingle intro and outro to the announcements provoked numerous complaints, and the PAs were eventually altered so they were only played in limited areas...

New ABM hi-vis? We want LU ones!

Cleaning contractor ABM has unveiled a new yellow hi-vis vest as part of cleaners' uniforms.

The printing and graphics are bit toned down than the previous one, but the bright colour still ensures cleaners are often some of the most visible staff around, especially in stations, meaning cleaners...

Heavy-handed policing

Suicide prevention situations are often very tricky - but as a recent incident at Wood Green shows, heavy-handed policing does not help.

A video of the incident has gone viral on social media. A passenger had made it known that they wanted to end their life, and staff and bystanders went into...

Fight for proper funding, cut the Tory strings!

The Department for Transport (DfT) has given Transport for London (TfL) another funding bailout, which guarantees its operations for the next six months. The bailout is the latest in a series of similar packages negotiated throughout the pandemic, all of which have been an opportunity for the...

Drivers: vote yes for action to win reinstatement for Gary Carney!

RMT is balloting driver members across LU for industrial action to win reinstatement for unjustly sacked rep Gary “Gash” Carney.

The ballot opens on 28 May and runs until 29 June. Tubeworker encouragres all RMT driver readers to vote yes, and drivers in Aslef to respect prospective RMT picket...

Mitie crackdown

Since Mitie took over the TfL/LU security contract from Interserve, there’s been a spike in overbearing and disciplinarian management practises.

Security workers are getting organised via RMT. The union must ensure they are supported and empowered to fight back against this culture of management...

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.