Bakerloo Line

Management makes concessions in Bakerloo timetable fight

Published on: Tue, 14/01/2020 - 23:00

Following Bakerloo drivers’ overwhelming vote for industrial action to win a workable timetable, LU has committed to a “no compulsory overtime” agreement on the line, as well as agreeing to review SPADs and safety incidents that have taken place under the current, and almost universally despised, “Working Timetable 44”.

Managers are meeting with reps to discuss the implementation of a new timetable, which has been brought forward to March.

If those discussions don’t go well, Bakerloo drivers are rightly ready to take action.

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Bakerloo drivers vote for action

Published on: Tue, 17/12/2019 - 17:48

Bakerloo drivers in RMT have voted by a 95% majority for strikes, and by 98% for action short of a strike, on an 80% turnout.

They’re fighting to win a workable timetable; we reported on the issues in the dispute here.

Following this overwhelming vote for action, let’s hope the bosses see sense. But if not... see you on the picket lines!

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Staffing reviews delayed... time to step up the fight

Published on: Tue, 10/12/2019 - 15:52

Almost exactly a year ago, station staff on the Bakerloo South group had just voted for industrial action to address issues around uncovered duties and short staffing.

Strikes were called in December and January, and later suspended after LU committed to filling all vacancies; covering all duties; and conducting a staffing review across the group to identify possible needs for additional jobs.

This agreement was later extended to a number of other station groups, including District Centre, where RMT members also balloted for action.

A year on, and the staffing reviews on these areas still have not produced definitive outcomes. There is a suggestion that one or two additional jobs may be created on Bakerloo South, possibly sometime in January, but no concrete timeframe for this, and with the suggestion that increases may be offset by getting rid of a part-time CSS position at Piccadilly Circus. On District Centre, there hasn't been vague indications so much as radio silence.

It's hard not to conclude that management simply haven't taken these processes seriously. The procrastination over these local staffing reviews are part of the reason why Tubeworker believes a network-wide dispute over stations issues, and most centrally issues around short and understaffing, is now necessary, and why we're pleased to see the RMT move in that direction. It appears reviews arising from local disputes will simply be kicked into the long grass, so we need to up the ante.

Let's ballot network-wide in 2020 and fight for increased staffing levels on stations, an end to lone working, and more.

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Bakerloo Line drivers: vote yes for action!

Published on: Tue, 10/12/2019 - 15:45

"Working" Timetable 44 on the Bakerloo Line is simply not working.

The timetable has led to a long list of problems, including turnaround times so tight that drivers often aren't able to take a toilet break between trips. The timetable has also led to big gaps between trains at certain times, leading to overcrowding on platforms.

RMT drivers at Queen's Park and Elephant depots are balloting for strikes to win a workable timetable. The ballot closes on 17 December. Tubeworker encourages all drivers to vote yes/yes for strikes and action short of strikes. Aslef driver are also balloting, creating the potential for a total shutdown of trains on the Bakerloo if management don't agree to withdraw WTT44 and implement a timetable that's workable for drivers and safer for passengers.

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Marylebone workers win on mess room

Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 10:51

Local management at Marylebone had been planning to force staff to stop using the ex-ticket office mess room as a mess facility. (We previously reported on this here.)

There’s no real justification for this decision; it seemed to simply be motivated by management wanting to throw its weight around. Local reps mounted a local campaign, escalated the issue through the machinery, and brought a motion to their branch proposing a dispute if management didn’t back down.

Fortunately management saw sense and have agreed to allow staff to continue using the facility. There are remaining issues over the location of lockers, but it’s a good win for now!

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Too Hot to Handle

Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 10:01

Alarmed that the temperature could rise above twenty degrees, last Friday evening, Network Rail announced that on Saturday there would be a speed restriction of 20mph all the way from Queen's Park to Bushey. After all, the rails might buckle in the oven-like temperatures.

Problem is: management didn't bother amending Bakerloo running times at all. Somehow, they expected trains to run to time without being allowed to run to time.

Drivers knew that this would rapidly turn into a fiasco. And so it came to pass. By Saturday midday, the job was up the wall.

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Battle of Marylebone Mess Room

Published on: Tue, 18/06/2019 - 12:01

The officially designated mess room at Marylebone station is on the concourse, at the bottom of the escalators down from the gateline. It’s rarely used; it’s a bit dingy, away from the toilets, and further away from the gateline if you need to come out to help in an emergency.

Instead, most staff prefer to use a tea point in the old ticket office, right next to the gateline.

Despite this practise having been ongoing for some time, with no issues whatsoever, management are insisting people stop using the tea point and only use the downstairs mess room.

Why? There’s no operational justification for this change, which will only lead to anger amongst CSAs.

Local RMT reps have been organising around the issue and have ensured it’s been taken up within the collective bargaining machinery. But the strength of feeling is such that, if the matter isn’t resolved, there’s a willingness to go further.

Sometimes, it’s the little things that are felt the most: messing around (no pun intend) with where workers are able to have a cuppa is an unnecessary wielding of managerial authority.

Have you had an experience of bosses messing around with breaks, mess rooms, tea points, or similar, in your station, depot, or workplace? Let Tubeworker know!

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Piccadilly power wins justice for Sophie

Published on: Mon, 13/05/2019 - 22:18

We reported a couple of months back on LU's scandalous decision to hand Sophie Kyei-Donkoh, a Piccadilly Circus CSA, a 52-week warning for the "crime" of being abused by a member of the public (who was, in fact, a serial vexatious complainer).

Sophie's colleagues, through their local reps and RMT branch, organised to take a stand, and committed to balloting for industrial action if the warning remained.

Fortunately, management saw sense and the warning was rescinded on appeal.

It's a good reminder of what some basic trade union principles mean in practise: an injury to one is an injury to all, and unity is strength!

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Agency workers exploited on the Bakerloo?

Published on: Thu, 11/04/2019 - 13:57

Network Rail has provided agency workers to work as suicide-prevention security staff on stations at the north end of the Bakerloo Line for some time.

Previously, workers were hired via an agency called SES, and paid around £10 an hour. But a new agency, Servo, has recently taken over the contract, and appears to be paying workers less - around £8 an hour.

Something is obviously up here. If the contract was transferred from one agency to another, workers should’ve been “TUPEd” over with their pay and conditions protected. Local reps for the LU unions are on the case and are looking into the matter, as well as trying to help the agency staff organise.

There’s a more fundamental issue here too: if Network Rail and LU accept there’s a need for staff presence on the platforms, why shouldn’t this be done by fully-trained LU staff? We say: kick Servo off the contract, train the agency staff up as CSAs, and create more jobs on stations!

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Justice for Sophie!

Published on: Fri, 22/03/2019 - 18:46

Sophie Kyei-Donkoh, a CSA at Piccadilly Circus, was abused by an aggressive passenger, who makes serial vexatious complaints against staff. How did the company support her? With a 52-week disciplinary warning!

RMT members at Sophie’s station are rightly up in arms about this travesty. Prior to the decision, the union wrote to LU to tell them that there’d be a dispute should Sophie be disciplined.

The warning must be rescinded!

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