Tubeworker's blog

Vote Labour, and demand Labour restores the TfL subsidy!

On 12 December, we’ll have the chance to kick the Tories out of government. Tubeworker encourages all readers to vote Labour in every constituency.

Labour is the only alternative party of government. It has its most left-wing policy platform for decades, and a left-wing membership prepared to...

Fightback needed on station staffing

The RMT London Transport Regional Council on 31 October voted for a network-wide dispute and strike ballot on the issue of staffing on stations.

A number of recent incidents, including violent assaults on staff at the east end of the District Line, highlight the problems caused by lone working...

Support the protests in Chile

Tubeworker supports the protests in Chile which started On 4 October following President Sebastián Piñera announcing a 30p rise in transport tickets in the capital, Santiago.

Initially protests were organised by school students who started a mass fare evasion on the metro, encouraging others not...

Tube Rebellion?

Some comments on the Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests on the Tube from us.

We support direct action against climate change. We’ve highlighted this many times and have drawn attention to the central role that workers’ action has to play in fighting for a transition to a sustainable economy....

Cleaners: vote yes for strikes!

After months of preparation, RMT will ballot ABM cleaners for industrial action. The ballot runs from 28 October to 19 November. Tubeworker encourages all cleaners to vote yes.

Cleaners are fighting for travel passes, company sick pay, and improved holiday/pension entitlements. It is an utter...

LU pay fight: ballot now!

LU has now issued its “full and final” offer in the ongoing pay talks. The first thing to note is that “full and final” is meaningless jargon. The offer's only final when we accept it, or we give up the fight to improve it!

They're offering a four-year deal, with RPI + 0.2%, or £750 (whichever is...

“20 additional colleagues”?

An LU Employee Bulletin announces that, to combat workplace violence and antisocial behaviour on the east end of the District Line, LU will be providing “20 additional colleagues”.

Good news, you might think. An acknowledgement that lone working and understaffing are the fundamental problems. But...

Action due in District East safety dispute

As Tubeworker went to press, industrial action short of strikes was due to begin on District East stations on 27 September.

Workers will refuse to attend incidents or detrain alone, and will work from a place of safety. The action came about after a spike in antisocial behaviour and staff...

Go slow to stop track noise!

After the excellent ballot result on the Jubilee, Northern, Victoria, and Central Lines, RMT has named action starting on 10 October in its dispute to end excessive track noise.

Drivers will impose temporary speed restrictions in affected areas, lessening the effect of the noise forced into the...

Will Labour implement its 32-hour week policy on TfL?

The recent Labour Party conference in Brighton ratified policy in favour of a four-day, 32-hour week. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell promised that the average working week would be cut to 32 hours within a decade under a Labour government.

In London, we already have a (local) Labour government...

Contractor Death Shocks All Tube Workers

It was shocking and heartbreaking for all of us to hear about the death of a colleague working on the travelator at Waterloo last week. Our thoughts are with his workmates, family and friends.

This shows that even though we are now in the twenty-first century, the railway industry is still a...

Action Against Assaults

Staff across the job have been shocked to hear about the brutal assault on our workmates at West Ham station last Wednesday. Tubeworker sends our solidarity to those involved and is pleased to hear about the great support they are getting from colleagues. Not so much from management, though, we hear...

A uniform approach

CSAs are having uniform orders rejected when they have been on the job less than two years. What's going on?

Some part-time workers have only one pair of trousers or two tops. Waiting for two years to get the uniform needed we have to wear for the job is a joke.

If this is happening across...

Automatic Warning?

"It's an automatic 26-week warning" is becoming a mantra from managers, especially on stations. But that's not the case, and it is high time that more of us objected and asserted our rights.

The Attendance and Discipline policies are clear that managers have discretion to give lower warnings - or...

French metro workers strike

This report on the Paris metro workers’ strike appeared in the newspaper of the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA) on 18 September and was translated from the French by Luke Neal.

A strike on RATP (the Paris metro) has got the the ball rolling in the fight against pension reforms in France. After 12...

Noise ballot success

RMT Drivers on the Northern, Central, Victoria and Jubilee lines have returned a yes vote for action short of strike due to excessive track noise.

Tubeworker congratulates the workers who voted YES and bizarrely those who voted NO. Without them the ballot would not have made it over the...

Tube workers against the coup!

As chaos in Parliament mounts, workers must take to the streets to protest against Boris Johnson's undemocratic manoeuvring and plans for a no-deal Brexit.

As transport workers in London, we have bitter experience of having Boris as a boss, experiencing his blatant lies about ticket office...

RMT suspends strikes on Vic and Central

RMT has suspended a drivers' strike planned for today on the Victoria and Central Lines.

The company has budged in talks at Acas, offering some concessions. On the Victoria Line, where issues related to overbearing managers pushing drivers around, the company has committed to a series of...

Driverless Nightmare

Lest we forget, while we continue our day-to-day battles with management, behind the scenes they continue to prepare to introduce driverless trains.

And in case anyone believes the hype that they are 'safe', read this report of a toddler being separated from his mum on a driverless Metro train in Sydney last week.

Incentivised by a financial squeeze on operating costs while government grants remain available for capital investment, TfL top bosses have their eyes on a future without those pesky drivers. We have heard little of it over the last couple of years, but we can be sure that the Tories will make more and more of an issue of driverless trains (and nicking our Nominee Passes) in the run-up to next year's Mayor and GLA elections.

The daftest thing for us to do would be to hold off on fighting driverless trains until they have been designed, manufactured and delivered. Let the shocking incident in Sydney remind us of the need to fight this now.

Greening the Tube?

According to LU's own figures, the company produces 585,000 tones of CO2 emissions per year. To offset that, you'd need to plant 26,000,000 trees.

Our bosses' solution to this? Encourage staff to recycle and turn out the lights.

Fine, we should all try our best not to be wasteful, but let's be...

Take action against lone working!

After lone working at the east end of the District Line led to a spike in staff assaults, local reps began renewed campaigning against lone working. RMT is now preparing to ballot station staff on the District East group for action to demand increased staffing levels.

Workers will vote on whether...

Drivers: vote yes for action over noise levels!

RMT is balloting all driver members, including Night Tube drivers, on the Jubilee, Central, Northern and Victoria lines, for industrial action against excessive noise levels, which have become intolerable.

The problem is caused by the "Pandrol Vanguard" system LU installed to reduce track noise...

Turdgate!

You come to expect the unexpected working on the Tube; we see all sorts and we raise one eyebrow and carry on. But one Friday morning incident in August has pushed our levels of incredulity to the extreme.

Peak time, 08.41 to be precise, on the Piccadilly line and multiple passenger alarms are...

Strike dates adjusted on Victoria and Central lines

The dates for the Central and Victoria Line strikes have been adjusted to 3-4 September (20:00 to 20:00), after reps and activists argued that the initial dates (29-30 August) would be less impactful.

Although altering dates after initially announcing them can be a bit of a messy business, it...

Mindful bosses?

TfL has partnered with “mindfulness” app Headspace to give staff a free subscription. Headspace’s guided meditation programmes are meant to help us deal with workplace stress.

It’s a nice gesture, but it rings a little hollow when you consider Occupational Health counselling services have been...

LU’s latest offer still unacceptable: ballot for action now!

Ongoing pay talks have yielded a new offer from the company. They’re proposing a two-year deal, with a year one pay increase of RPI + 0.2%, with an RPI + 0.2% increase in year two minus the cost of implementing a 30-minute reduction in the working week.

This is entirely unacceptable for a number...

All out on the Vic and Central!

Drivers on the Victoria and Central Lines are ready for action, with a strike due from 20:00 on Thursday 29 August to 20:00 on Friday 30 August. This will affect services all day on Friday.

These disputes follow a pattern we’ve seen elsewhere on the combine recently, including on the Piccadilly...

Ask For More Cleaners!

ABM claims that its latest job-cutting scheme is actually just flexibility in allocating resources. This has seen even some large and busy stations left with just one cleaner on duty. The company says that station staff can ask for more cleaners on your station, but we are not sure that this is...

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