Tubeworker's blog

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...

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...

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...

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...

Drivers to ballot

Tube drivers are to vote on industrial action over what the unions call a "breakdown in industrial relations" - and what most people at work call "management taking the piss".


The central issues are:

  • SPADs - the company is not implementing its own procedures properly or fairly, with the result...

Government holds back on Section 12 attack

The government has announced that it will delay its attempts to scrap 'Section 12' fire safety regulations for sub-surface railway stations.


Governments are not known for backing down on a whim, so this is surely the result of campaigning by the unions, in particular RMT, ASLEF and the FBU.

...

Scab Livingstone

Ken Livingstone lines up with management against the unions shocker. (Or Ken Livingstone is management, and does what bosses do?.)


Read reports on his previous anti-union behaviour on the Tube here, a summary of his well dodgy political career here, and more articles about the Not-At-All Red Ken...

We've Started So We Should Finish

... as Magnus Magnusson might say.


When the union embarks on a campaign, it has to see it through. Station staff - including some of LUL's lowest-paid grades - sacrificed two days' pay to act not just in their own interests, but in the interests of colleagues and passengers. Our union should...

RMT Tube station staff: Vote No to management’s inadequate offer

Vote to Keep Up the Fight


RMT is asking its members to accept an offer from management which amounts to giving up our fight against staffing cuts for a few small concessions. Tubeworker urges readers to vote “No”.


If we accept this – if we call off our fight – then management will go through...

Gutter Press

The Evening Standard has run an extraordinary campaign of persecution against sacked Northern line driver Robert Rankin. They even sent reporters to his house, and when they failed to heed his requests to leave and he allegedly tried to persuade them with a bucket of water, they reckoned that...

Media Frenzy

Talk about a rough ride in the press! You’d think we were planning mass murder, not fighting for staff and passenger safety.


The BBC’s reports sounded like they were lifted straight from an LUL press release, claiming that you “might not have noticed” there was a strike on cos disruption was so...

Limited Moves?

There is a proposal to qualify people (managers to work strike days, perhaps?) to work only limited moves at Harrow-on-the-Hill. Meaning: no point movements.

This has obvious safety implications for both staff and the public eg. a train arcing and fusing could not be put in Harrow siding; or in...

Latest from the MELman

(Melman is a comic giraffe character in the kids' film, 'Madagascar'. The character is a very nice idea, but blunders and splutters, and is not really up to the tasks that face him. Unlike Manual Electronic Logging (MEL) in LUL signal cabins, which is, erm, not like that at all.)


More and more...

Strange Management Behaviour During Strikes (part 756)

It's New Year's Eve, and Bank station is closed, the Waterloo & City line suspended. Management tell the signaller on duty to send a train to Bank, carrying the precious cargo of a DSM and half a dozen "station staff". Half and hour later, the station re-opens.


Surely the company has not worked...

Why Does The Media Hate Us?

The media, both print and screen, gave us a real battering during the station strikes. While activists are right to feel angry at the hypocrisy and shamelessness of the TV and newspaper barons, we should not be surprised.

Whatever the sympathies of individual journalists, those who make the real...

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