Tubeworker's blog

Beyond our Ken (Beyond the Pale Ken)

As one of London Underground's many beleaguered Ticket Office staff who have serious concerns for their job security it was good to see our old friend Ken Livingstone stick the knife in even further with his new fare announcements for next year.With the minimum single cash fare rising to £3...

Operational Standards?

Management think they have a procedure (OSN48) that allows trains to run safely without working radio.


We disagree. But would it be too much to expect them to stick to their own procedure?!


Sadly, it seems so. Under OSN48, there is supposed to be a handsignaller on every platform in a section...

Northern line braking system fails again

Flippin' 'eck, it's happened again. Last night, the Northern Line's emergency braking system failed for the fourth time in fourth weeks.


When the braking system failed on 9 September, the company introduced double-crewing of trains. But for who-knows-what reason (surely not cost? or fear of...

Weekend closure chaos

Last weekend's closure at the east end of the Picc caused chaos at Wood Green.


Drivers nearly stopped the job in protest at poor organisation and conditions. The gates swallowed singles and returns because they had not been reprogrammed, the DMIs showed the wrong destinations, rubbish built up...

Nasty Shock

While attending a tunnel telephone failure at a remote substation, a technician was electrocuted. The shock happened when he opened the cabinet housing the TT equipment.


He was lucky (yes, really). Because he had never been to this particular substation before, he had asked a workmate to go along...

Updates

Ruislip depot ballot result - Service Control grades committee - SPAD wristbands

  • Ruislip depot Balfour Beatty. The result of the ballot for industrial action short of strike was 100%. This will enable the Tube Recon Gangs to refuse to comply with management's new rules for Friday working....

Rebranding

New Labour, New Britain ... New Metronet.


Yes really. Only two years old, and it is rebranding itself. Maybe it's trying to throw off the image of a profit-grabbing consortium that can't maintain the railway properly.


A tip: no matter how hard you try to rebrand yourself, it is hard to throw...

Correct Side?

The latest plan to resolve the PTI problems at Cockfosters is to close platform 2 and only use platform 3 for trains in the middle road.

Fair enough, maybe. But a couple of tips to management ... When you introduce a measure like this:

  • 1. Tell the Line Controllers and the DOM.
  • 2. Make sure the...

Stations and Metronet: Time to Fight Back

- defend jobs - stop outsourcing - defend pensions -

Despite a few small concessions, the ‘new’ draft stations rosters are completely unacceptable. They will result in the displacement of staff; reduce staffing levels on stations, and so increase the level of stress, assault, and low morale....

Rip It Up and Start Again

Whoops. Management have put all that effort into reviewing the Working Reference Manual, but overlooked the small matter of involving health and safety reps from the Infracos.

Anyone would think they just wanted to do a bit of ‘streamlining’ and don’t really care what the staff think. Don’t mind us...

Shedding Light

Isn’t it funny how when there is a disaster, management agree to safety improvements, then, when they think that everyone has forgotten about it, they try to reverse the improvements on the sly?

After the Camden and Hammersmith derailments two years go, the Infracos agreed to introduce ‘Lampmen’ (...

Service Control Restructuring

Why are we waiting? Milestone 1 was finally implemented on 18 September, which means that everyone whose job is mapped across into the new structure gets their pay rise. However, everyone who is at risk is still in limbo waiting for news of whether they still have a job in Service Control.

The...

MEL part 57

The introduction of MEL (Manual Electronic Logging) into some of the Met and District Line signal cabins is reportedly imminent. So we might be forgiven for wondering why the MEL team (extra staff seconded to work at Harrow-on-the-Hill cabin to assist with MEL), which had been kicking its heels...

A Bit Dim

As drivers and passengers will know, the platform lights at Northwood are not exactly bright. In fact, they are so dim that they are a menace.

Staff hoped that things would look brighter (sorry!) when LUL finally got round to carrying out a lux test. But unfortunately, the results had to be...

There and Back Again

Learning and Development was transferred from LUL to TfL a couple of years back. Now it's coming back again!

Tubeworker would really like to know how much this pointless exercise has cost - both in terms of money and of disruption to staff.

Broken Rails

LUL has managed to admit that there have been too many broken rails of late. Getting them to admit the cause of the problem, though, might take longer.

It seems plain to Tubeworker that if a railway is carrying more people over more miles, then it needs better maintenance. Instead, we have the...

Unpaid Overtime

Staff at Canary Wharf discovered to their horror that they were not paid for overtime. It seems that the manager responsible had gone on holiday without making sure that it would be done in his absence.

It's bad enough that LUL relies on overtime to keep stations running. Tubeworker would rather...

Case Dismissed

Ashfield House trainer and RMT rep Pat Houlihan has finally seen the back of the ridiculous disciplinary action taken against him. Perhaps now managers will not be so quick to cry 'harassment' just because a union rep stands up to them.

It's an insult to all those staff who genuinely suffer...

Defend fire safety: union to demonstrate

As regular readers will know, the government has been trying its hand at abolishing Section 12. As all Tube workers will know - but some earwigging readers may not - Section 12 is the name we give to the Fire Precautions (Sub-Surface Railway Stations) Regulations 1989. That's the law introduced in...

It's official: the Infracos are rubbish

Well, you could knock us down with a feather. TfL's second annual report on the PPP has stated that the Infracos' performance is "not good enough".

Now, why could they possibly think that? Perhaps because:

  • the track renewals programme is 31% lower than the Infracos promised in their PPP bids...

Metronet: action is coming

As we have reported previously in Tubeworker, Metronet has been waging war on its employees, through 'outsourcing' (reprivatising stuff that has already been privatised), 'reorganisation' (aka. job losses), attacks on our pensions, and failure to progress with our 35-hour week.

Enough is enough...

Refusing to Drive

A few months back, dozens of Edgware Road train ops refused to drive their trains when the radios failed. Quite right too.

Management's response? A disciplinary letter! Looking out for the safety of thousands of passengers (and yourself) is obviously very very naughty.

In the face of LUL's...

Your Right to a Rep?

It looks like LUL management are getting the hump about those pesky workers standing up for their rights. More and more of us are having the cheek to demand union representation at Fact Finding interviews.


LUL recognises your right to representation once the formal disciplinary procedure starts -...

Bad Air Day

Still unable to make train radios work reliably, LUL is issuing 'air-wave radios'. The problem is that no-one seems to know what they are or how they work. The company has not properly consulted union health & safety reps or involved them in risk assessments.

Have you been trained in their use? How...

No radio = no trains

Or does it?


Oddly, LUL seems to agree in principle that it is not safe to run trains when the radios don't work, but in practice, the company is finding ways to keep the service running anyway. Anyone would think that following the bomb attacks, they feel the need to say one thing but do another...

Fight Station Staff Cuts

Well, there's a surprise (not). Management have come back with re-drafted stations rosters with a few posts given back. They are hoping that we will accept these because they are slightly less awful than the last lot. Unfortunately for LUL, we are not stupid and will not fall for this crass trick....

Taken To the Cleaners

A fair few staff have found that dry cleaners are refusing LUL cleaning tokens. Something about how LUL doesn't pay enough and takes ages to cough up. If this happens to you, keep your receipts, and demand your local management pay up!

We will have to bring this to the attention of our union...

Deadly Fibres

Asbestos needs removing from the track area at Bounds Green. Fair enough, you'd think, safety systems exist to ensure that staff are protected from the lethal fibres. At the very least, staff would be told about it. Or maybe not, since it seems that local management decided that there was no need to...

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