Tubeworker's blog

Duty Manager Review

Whilst LUL conducts its own review of the duty manager role, Tubeworker can reveal the results of our own, independent review. We have come to the shocking conclusion that, particularly on stations, duty managers are not much use at all.

Aside from filling in forms and watching other people work,...

Special Events?

Wasn't there something in the stations shorter working week deal about setting up a special events team?

It seems that the only time it got mentioned was when local reps objected to staffing cuts for stations which frequently cope with special events, when management used this hypothetical team as...

Strike Off

It comes as no surprise to anyone to get official confirmation that tomorrow's strike is off.

And you won't hear Tubeworker complaining. It was a dispute that we got into in quite an odd manner, provoked by management.

Still, at least the willingness of members of both unions to strike pushed...

What If ...?

Hypothetically, say there was a GSM who insisted that it was safe to leave UTS gates in service when there are no staff present to monitor them. Even with the ticket office closed, and even if the Station Supervisor was otherwise engaged and did not believe it to be safe ...

You might consider it...

Unfamiliar

Tubeworker has long bemoaned management's failure to ensure that station staff - particularly supervisors - are familiarised with the track at the stations where they work. Unlike station familiarisation (required by law), track familiarisation is pretty much random, and down to whether local...

Cowboy Cleaners Kicked Out

Metronet SSR has dumped cleaning contractor Blue Diamond after it was caught out paying cleaners less than the wage it had agreed to pay them in its bid. And that wage was paltry enough to start with.

The T&G union has been quick to claim the credit for this, after exposing the under-payment.

Ho...

Olympics 2012 No strike deal and the good old BBC !!

Switched on the local BBC news tonight and was greeted by the headline that the RMT were asking for underground workers to be paid extra to ensure they attend work during the games.As an RMT member this was news to me and I'm surprised to hear it first on the news and not from my union.

However my...

More stations suffer from staffing cuts

Green Park is suffering under the new rosters, with barely enough people on duty to keep it running. Recently, a woman SA had to tip out on the Jubilee line alone at midnight - not a situation anyone would want to be in.

Arnos Grove and Victoria groups, amongst others, are reporting significant...

Cleaners Sacking Disgrace

Eight cleaners on the Central line face the sack in a truly appalling case.

It is bad enough that cleaners do not get free travel around the Underground as LUL staff do. So they get a Travelcard/Oyster to cover the zones that they work in. Then their bosses tell them to go and do some cleaning at...

Dosh for Nosh

Having your grub at the Acton Town (District) canteen has not had a pleasant 'ambience' of late, what with the loud noise from ongoing building works. And as well as being unpleasant for drivers, it was a nightmare for the canteen staff. So management decided to close it again while the additional...

Holloway Road stabbing: Heroes and Villains

Tubeworker tips our hat to the staff at Holloway Road station who, on Wednesday evening, saved the life of a 21-year-old man who had been viciously stabbed.

Management tipped their hat too. But unfortunately, they didn't manage to show up in person until 7 o'clock the following morning (the...

Danger at Victoria

At Victoria - London Underground's busiest station - Supervisors have been cut to the bone. Control room assistants are currently unlicensed and undergoing training. Revenue Control Inspectors are being instructed to cover supervisors with no local training or familiarisation training being given....

What are ASLEF up to?!

As predicted, and highly unsurprisingly, ASLEF is calling off the first strike.

This decision was taken without consultation with RMT (or with ASLEF members, naturally), and followed talks between ASLEF and management to which RMT was not invited. The ASLEF leadership might think they are being...

Fallen Hero?

The shine wears off your halo pretty damn quickly when LUL is your boss. So you are a driver who led people to safety after a near-miss bomb blast? So you still get flashbacks? Pah! Get yerself back to work or find yourself a new job.

And don’t think that just because you’ve been coming to work...

Family Fare Rise

Mayor Ken has dealt another blow to both passengers and staff by scrapping the Family Travelcard, leaving people with kids paying up to twice as much to get about London. Of course if, facing this 100% fare hike, they decide to get around in the family car, then Ken is going to sting them with the...

What Are Management Up To?

As if we weren’t already despondent, what with having the fantastic strike action undermined by scabs, only for RMT HQ to recommend a Yes vote on an unimproved offer … Lump this together with the grief over displacements and staffing cuts and we have had quite enough to deal with recently. Well,...

Going Live?

Tubeworker was suprised to read in my copy of On The Move (which popped through my letterbox this morning) that Connect radios went live on the East London Line on 27th January. Er, no they didn't! The new proposed date is 10th February but even that is in doubt at this point.

The East London Line...

What's Wrong with Performance-Related Pay?

Employee Relations Director Gerry Duffy has given a few hints as to what might be coming our way in the upcoming pay negotiations.

"We would like to see progress in rewarding performance", says Gerry, signalling of the spectre of performance-related pay (PRP). A thoroughly objectionable proposals...

New Procedures part 2 – Discipline

Management’s draft new ‘Attendance, Performance and Conduct at Work’ Procedures signal their intentions to strip down our rights to the bare legal minimum.

Disciplinary hearings will be conducted by just one manager. For issues less serious than those that go to Company Disciplinary Interviews...

LUL's New Procedures – What’s Wrong With Them?

Management are trying to introduce new ‘Attendance, Performance and Conduct at Work’ Procedures, and the unions are already in dispute with company about them. So what is wrong with them?

Before we even look at the detail, the alarm should sound that Attendance and Conduct – which have always,...

Penalty Fare's Not Fair

So Ken Livingstone thinks that the Penalty Fare should go up to £40 or even £50.

He reckons that this will be a 'real' disincentive to fare evasion. Obviously, it won't be much of a disincentive to the likes of him and his various commissioners, advisers and other hangers-on. On their £100k+...

Can We Manage Without Managers?!

Of course we can! We all know that there is a lot of deadwood in the management grades on London Underground. But could workers run the industry without bosses at all?

Workers at the Zanon tile factory in Argentina are doing just that, having occupied the factory when the owners hit a crisis,...

GLA Condemns Unsafe Staffing Levels Shocker

News from the Ministry of Stating the Obvious, Department of Saying One Thing But Doing Another. The Greater London Authority’s Transport Committee has revealed that passengers are not very safe on stations that do not have enough staff on duty.

The report concentrates on National Rail stations in...

Thirteen mistakes

Before listing 13 key mistakes that Tubeworker thinks that RMT made during the stations shorter working week campaign, we need to make a few things clear. The blame for the cuts in staffing levels lies squarely with management, and behind them, the Mayor. RMT at least fought the cuts, whereas TSSA...

Tube station staff endorse inadequate deal

RMT’s stations membership have voted by about 5:1 (1,250ish to 250ish) to accept the deal brokered by LUL management and the union’s leadership. In doing so, it has ended the dispute over the staffing cuts, and those cuts will now go ahead.

So, why did members vote to give up this fight? A few...

Brief report on last Thursday’s mass meeting

About 60 people there, three-quarters of them station staff, the rest other grades. So an OK turnout, but not as ‘mass’ as a mass meeting might have been. Had it been held before the National Executive had decided what to do with LUL’s offer, then loads more people would have come, because they...

Fingerprints please

Believe it or not, Metronet and TubeLines are proposing to make workers sign in and out using their fingerprints. We can not confirm rumours that we will also have our rights read to us, hold up a card with our staff number on it, wear a suit with arrows on, eat porridge and be allowed only one...

TubeLines pay claim

RMT has submitted its pay claim to TubeLines, and TubeLines has responded. So the opening skirmishes will begin.

RMT has asked for a one-year deal and a 'substantial' pay rise for staff. It is the general practice of the union not to put a figure on its pay claims. Tubeworker tends to think that...

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