Tubeworker's blog

Keep your distance

While operational training is still going ahead, it’s unclear how the company plans to maintain social distancing on the front of a train cab. Instructors on a number of lines are already refusing to take anyone else in their cab at the current time. Tubeworker thinks they are right to refuse. The...

LU pay/conditions: don't give up on our demands!

Aslef drivers, whose ballot returned on 12 March, voted by 95% on a 74% turnout for action over LU pay and conditions. RMT’s ballot is still ongoing, due to close on 31 March.

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the context, but we should not abandon our struggle over pay and conditions by...

Steps Into Support?

Steps Into Work students have been told that the scheme is now on hold until September, due to the Covid-19 crisis.

While this may be sensible in the circumstances, there are consequences which do not yet seem to have been addressed. Steps Into Work students are autistic and/or learning-disabled...

Reduced service imposed: fight for workers' control

LU has announced a number of measures as part of its response to the Covid-19 crisis, including suspending Night Tube and the Waterloo and City line, and "temporarily closing stations" (although it hasn't yet said which).

Emergency measures are necessary; suspending Night Tube was one of the...

Cleaners win full sick pay if they self-isolate

ABM have written to cleaners informing them that, following an agreement with TfL, any cleaner who self-isolates during the Covid-19 crisis will be paid at their full shift rate. Previously, cleaners were only being paid Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), less than £100 per week.

This is a major...

Covid-19: our emergency plan

With the government coming under increasing criticism for its slapdash approach to the Covid-19 outbreak, our safety depends on us putting forward our own emergency plan to protect our and our passengers' health. As the situation develops, necessary measures may change, but right now, we demand that our employers (and our ultimate employer, the Mayor of London), do the demands described without delay.

Covid-19 and us

In the midst of what is now officially a pandemic, it's unsurprising that Covid-19 and its impacts are dominating discussion on the job.

LU has agreed that anyone self-isolating with no symptoms will be categorised as on special leave, rather than off sick. Anecdotally, local managers seem to be...

Aslef pay ballot smashes thresholds

Aslef members have voted by a 95.2% majority for strikes to win an improved settlement on pay and conditions, on a 74.5% turnout. These figures smash the arbitrary thresholds of the Tories' anti-union laws.

The RMT's ballot runs until 31 March. Unions should liaise, now, about the best timing for...

Victoria Service Control strike!

Following a 100% vote for strikes to oppose an intolerable culture of overbearing management, service controllers on the Victoria Line will strike on 20 and 27 March. This dispute simply won't be resolved without a fundamental change in management culture.

With numerous workplace issues causing...

Coronavirus sick pay scandal

As concern understandably grows across the job about the coronavirus, ABM cleaners are in an especially difficult situation. They work in some of the dirtiest, least hygienic conditions across LU, but the scandalous refusal of ABM to pay them company sick pay means they simply can't afford to be ill...

No cutting corners on familiarisation!

Station familiarisations, a legally-required procedure that everyone working on a station must undertake and which must be carried out by a resident CSS or CSM, are extremely important. CSAs on the Special Requirements Team (SRT) work across multiple stations, and are on average familiarised at 15...

Station staff face assaults

Antisocial behaviour and violence towards station staff is spiking on the Piccadilly East cover group. Local reps are pressing managers through the local machinery to ensure members are supported and action is taken.

Combine wide, LU will undoubtedly point to their much vaunted “workplace...

Give and take?

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...

TfL TSEOs should be LU RCIs

As Unite members working in various TfL departments (Dial-a-Ride, bus revenue inspectors, streets enforcement workers, and others) gear up for another strike over pay on 28 February, TfL is now recruiting for a new grade of “Transport Support and Enforcement Officer” (TSEO), paid £27k per year, who...

LU pay/conditions: strikes can win a better deal

Negotations with LU over pay/conditions have taken us as far as we can go. To win a deal that brings us closer to our demands, we need industrial action.

Aslef has already committed to ballot its members. Its ballot begins on 28 February and closes on 9 March. Tubeworker encourages all readers...

French lessons

Our monthly Tubeworker editorial meeting on 20 February heard a report from a comrade who’d recently visited France during the mass strike wave, as part of a delegation organised by Workers’ Liberty.

Workers in France have been striking against proposed pension reforms. We heard how strikes are...

Lillie Bridge engineers: ballot now on LU pay!

In debates within the union about whether RMT should ballot over LU pay/conditions, some have cited the alleged unwillingness of members in non-operational grades to do so as an impediment.

But that’s certainly not the case at Lillie Bridge egineering depot in west London. A recent workplace...

Fighting back in Service Control

Service control workers on the Victoria Line, and in the Hammersmith Service Control Centre, are fighting back for better working conditions.

A raft of workplace issues at Osborne House, home to Vic Line SC, led to a strike ballot which returned a 100% majority for action in January. Reps are now...

RCIs vote for action

Revenue Control Inspectors in RMT have voted to take industrial action to resist the imposition of a two-tier workforce in the revenue department. There was a 100% vote for action short of a strike, and a 92% vote for strikes, on a 75% turnout.

RCI reps will now meet to discuss exactly what...

Shutdown on the Bakerloo: workers have the power!



It's been a solid day of industrial action so far on the Bakerloo, as drivers strike to win a workable timetable. RMT organised lively pickets at Queen's Park and Elephant and Castle, with an impromptu joint strike rally being held at the latter location when striking university workers from the...

A tale of two ASLEFs?

We were amused to see another edition of the Tube Driver bulletin appear online recently (see bottom of this article), apparently an attempt by some members of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (Aslef) to replicate Tubeworker, but with an explicitly sectionalist, driver-only...

Fighting for direct employment on the track

The scourge of outsourcing on London Underground is not limited to cleaning and catering. Protection and possession work is also substantially outsourced, with companies like Cleshar and Morsons providing agency workers to work as possession masters during engineering jobs on the track.

Sub-sub...

Bosses' devices

Cleaning contractor ABM is issuing cleaners with new mobile devices, loaded with an app called "OnTime", which will be used for booking in and out of shifts, logging breaks, and booking holiday.

ABM has got into a fix with technology of this sort in the past, with a booking-on system based on...

Aslef launches ballot

Aslef has announced a ballot of its members on London Underground, over pay and conditions. The ballot opens on 28 February, and closes on 9 March. Aslef is a minority union across LU as a whole, but a majority amongst drivers. One of its key demands in pay negotiations thus far has been for a...

Keep it a mess(room)

Reports reached Tubeworker that night tube CSAs going for their meal break at Stockwell on Friday night found contractors setup in the mess room working at a desk going through their paperwork. We understand that people shared a cup of tea and had a good chat but why if they needed somewhere to work...

Bakerloo drivers: all out!

RMT has named strikes in the timetable dispute on the Bakerloo Line. Drivers will strike from 11.59 on Friday 21 to 11.59 on Saturday 22, then from 11.59 on Sunday 23 to 11.59 on Monday 24. The intention is for this rolling strike to maximise the impact of the action across four days, while only...

Sodexo plans cuts

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...

Drill music?

Station staff at Old Street have demanded action on noise, as incessant drilling from the construction project on the roundabout has become intolerable. After pressure from union reps, it looks like an agreement has been secured to restrict the times of the drilling.

Regular rotation of staff...

Fight Fire With Frequency and Funding

Twice in recent weeks, there have been fires in the pipe a short distance from the platform. This must raise concerns about the practices of contractor companies and the frequency of track cleaning.

At Finsbury Park on Friday morning, a build-up of rubbish behind a grid about two metres into the...

Equal treatment for probationers

Every so often, we hear some utter horror stories about probationers on stations having their probation extended, or even terminated, for utterly minor “infractions”, that would hardly elicit a raised eyebrow, let alone a disciplinary sanction, were they to be done by established staff. Some of...

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