Tubeworker's blog

Wins for station staff at Baker Street and Bakerloo Line South

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 20/12/2018 - 18:00

Station staff at Baker Street and the Bakerloo Line South Cover Group are finishing 2018 on a high after the threat of strikes forced concessions from management.

At Baker Street, an unjustly sacked probationer was reinstated, and trumped up disciplinary charges against two staff, including the local RMT rep, were dropped after workers returned a big majority for industrial action.

Barking drivers plan strikes

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 20/12/2018 - 17:58

Aslef drivers at Barking depot on the Hammersmith and City Line will strike on 10 and 23 January, as yet another group of drivers encounters problems with depot management throwing their weight around and ignoring agreements.

Surely it’s time for a combine-wide drivers’ fight back against bullying bosses?

Tube drivers earning £100k?

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 20/12/2018 - 09:38

"London Tube drivers earning £100,000 a year" screamed The Times headline, suggesting that London Underground train drivers now earn a six figure sum. However, in reality full time Train Operators earn £55,000.

The Times and other Tory propoganda rags claimed that drivers are on £100k, yet the reality is that just nine specialist drivers, who operate various stocks on lines across the network earn that amount which includes benefits and pension cintributiins, whilst the majority of drivers, 4000 of us, earn an annual salary which is nearly half that amount.

Transformation Teething Trouble?

Submitted by Tubeworker on Tue, 18/12/2018 - 09:43

Since stations admin was reorganised under 'Transformation', various things have been going pear-shaped.
Staff have not been getting answers about leave, pay and other issues. And much though Tubeworker is not a fan of overtime, we do think that if you do it, it is only right that you get paid for it!
This is not the fault of the admin staff. They did not asked to be 'Transformed'. It is the fault of a change driven by penny-pinching and cutting staff.

Ticketing Troubles

Submitted by Tubeworker on Tue, 18/12/2018 - 09:38

Arnos Grove station staff are shocked and angry that management have suspended a workmate for a minor ticket office discrepancy. The staff member concerned has more than fifteen years on the job and six years doing ticket office duties without any problems, and yet the company has thrown the book at him over a shortfall that may not even be his fault.

Bakerloo station staff to strike

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 13/12/2018 - 18:01

Station staff on the Bakerloo Line South Cover Group (Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Charing Cross, Lambeth North, and Elephant and Castle) will strike on 26 December and 14 January, fighting back against short staffing.

The issues in the dispute are clear. Anyone who works at an even moderately busy station knows that staffing levels are already too low, and LU’s current culture of cost cutting means that when people are off sick or there are unfilled vacancies, those duties often go uncovered as the company doesn’t want to cough up for the overtime.

Union declares victory in “battle of Baker Street”

Submitted by Tubeworker on Sun, 09/12/2018 - 22:33

RMT has declared victory in “the battle of Baker Street”, after London Underground reinstated an unjustly sacked CSA, and trumped-up disciplinary charges against a CSS were dropped.

LU were forced to back down after 41 out of 61 workers balloted at the station voted for strikes (on a turnout of 45). This showed a clear strength of feeling at the station and made certain that any strikes would have a serious impact.

Local reps and activists say this is the first battle in an ongoing fight against a culture of management bullying.

74% all round?

Submitted by Tubeworker on Wed, 05/12/2018 - 01:18

It’s been revealed that senior stations boss Brian Woodhead received a 74% salary bump this year, taking his pay to nearly £300k.

While we don’t doubt for a second that Brian is worth every penny of that (after all... if he didn’t come to work, stations wouldn’t open and trains wouldn’t run... right?), but surely lower paid frontline staff deserve the same? 74% increase all round, anyone?

Despite their claims of poverty, there’s clearly still money for some things at LU.

4LM Delayed

Submitted by Tubeworker on Wed, 05/12/2018 - 01:00

The "Four Lines Modernisation" (4LM) upgrade on the District, Met, Circle, and H and C missed the 17/18 November "go live" date for the first phase of automatic train operation.

There have been numerous problems with Thales' new signalling system, including more than one train entering a signalling section at once during a simulated test. It has now been put back to next year. By 2018, Bombardier was supposed to complete the entire upgrade - before it pulled out of its contract, costing TfL £85 million. Thales doesn't seem to be seem to be delivering on its promises either.

Out in the cold

Submitted by Tubeworker on Wed, 05/12/2018 - 00:58

In the cold weather, we need to use the GLAP (variously, Gate Line Attendance Post, Attendant's Post, or Assistance Point!) to keep warm.

But try that in a new style GLAP and you'll find the heater lets out less heat than a lightbulb. LUL designed it like this to deter us from sitting down. What a heartless employer we work for!

The GLAP is not just a place of safety, it's meant for our comfort too. We would love to see the managers who made this decision work extreme shifts all winter in windy, unheated offices.

Here to help?

Submitted by Tubeworker on Wed, 05/12/2018 - 00:55

From the new year, LUL wants station staff to wear red tabards with the slogan "here to help".

The idea came out of a London Travelwatch review of the impact of staff cuts and ticket office closures, which found that staff were not visible enough.

More staff, not an add-on to our uniform, is the answer! Why should we dress like clowns to cover up for staff shortages? LUL has ignored unions' objections.

Progress on cab security

Submitted by Tubeworker on Wed, 21/11/2018 - 14:32

There seems to have been progress in the ongoing battle for cab security, with LU proposing a new prototype with a J Door key opening system.

Trains safety reps from both Aslef and RMT seem pleased with the prototype, with meetings now planned involving reps and the engineers working on the system to explain it to drivers.

The progress has been marred somewhat by intra-union conflict, with Aslef using the opportunity to take swipes at the RMT.

Wheely good service?

Submitted by Tubeworker on Mon, 19/11/2018 - 13:39
Nigel Holness quote

The Piccadilly Line has recently faced extensive delays due to “flatted wheels” a problem that caused major issues in 2015 and 2016 and resulted in a formal investigation and an extensive report from London TravelWatch.

You can read what London Underground had to say about it here.

How diverting...

Submitted by Tubeworker on Fri, 16/11/2018 - 15:34

Westminster was looking like it wouldn't have the minimum numbers to open, so some bright spark had the novel idea of ringing LUCC and getting them to divert a staff taxi carrying someone bound for Canada Water to make up the numbers.

It's not clear whether the person was even familiarised at Westminster and whether the station was, therefore, actually still under numbers when it opened.

Central shutdown

Submitted by Tubeworker on Wed, 07/11/2018 - 15:44

Strikes by RMT and Aslef drivers on the Central Line (the Leytonstone depot of which also provides drivers for the Waterloo and City Line) have completely shut the line today, in an impressive display of workers' strength.

The strikes are part of overlapping and parallel disputes. RMT has two disputes, one demanding the reinstatement of Paul Bailey, and another against authoritarian management culture. Aslef's disputes relate to the latter issue, and the unfair sacking of one of their members after a procedural error.

Defend Anthony Codd!

Submitted by Tubeworker on Fri, 19/10/2018 - 17:01

Track Access Control members of the RMT have successfully balloted to defend Anthony Codd for doing his job during an LDI!
Management have decided his failure to give the highest sanction available and refer the matter to a CDI has called his conduct into question.

Anthony was then stood down and three months later given notice of a CDI followed by an out of the blue home visit from senior management! Anthony was subsequently sacked, with none of his fellow workers being told why!

BTP and bodycams? How can we make our stations safer?

Submitted by Tubeworker on Fri, 19/10/2018 - 11:08

Relations between the British Transport Police and LU station staff have been somewhat strained of late. There’s a widespread feeling on the job that the BTP don’t take staff assaults seriously. This feeling was exacerbated by the news, reported in Tubeworker last month, that BTP officers conducted a covert operation at Piccadilly Circus, where they effectively spied on staff and undertook acts of antisocial behaviour in order to “gauge staff reaction”.

Signal Operators Bite Back

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 18/10/2018 - 14:45

When fleas infested Rickmansworth signal cabin, operators refused to work in there.

Suffice to say, faced with this defiance, management soon got the problem cleaned up.

A fine example to us all. We don't have to suffer discomfort and possible ill-health just because management can't manage to keep our workplaces free of creepy crawlies. Remember your right to refuse!

Central Line and Picc Line drivers: all out on 7 November!

Submitted by Tubeworker on Wed, 17/10/2018 - 13:10

RMT and Aslef drivers on the Central Line, and RMT drivers on the Piccadilly Line, will strike on 7 November. Here’s the lowdown on the Central Line strike...


RMT drivers have three ongoing disputes on the Central Line - we’re resisting the removal of detrainment staff on the Waterloo and City Line, where drivers operate out of Leytonstone depot; we’re demanding reinstatement for Paul Bailey, a driver we believe was unjustly sacked; and we’re fighting against an out-of-control management culture.

Michelle Rodgers for RMT National President!

Submitted by Tubeworker on Sun, 23/09/2018 - 13:13

Michelle Rodgers works for Arriva Rail North, where she is a local RMT rep. She sat on the union’s National Executive Committee from 2014-2017, and is the secretary of RMT Manchester South branch. She is standing to be the union’s next national president; Tubeworker is supporting her campaign. We spoke to Michelle about her approach to trade unionism and why London Underground workers should vote for her. Ballot papers will be delivered to RMT members’ home addresses from 1 October. Speak to your local rep to ensure your details are up-to-date.

Staff the stations, cover the duties!

Submitted by Tubeworker on Sun, 23/09/2018 - 12:44

LU's practise of not covering "non-critical" duties continues, meaning many stations are often short staffed. On some outlying areas, such as the north end of the Bakerloo Line, many stations are left entirely unstaffed.

The situation makes a mockery of LU's own documents and protocols. The company produces a "Business Needs Schematic" (BNS) for every station, stipulating the level at which the company itself says the station must be staffed. Apparently the BNS can now be disregarded.

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