District line

Wot no Radio?

Published on: Thu, 07/11/2019 - 10:05

We already know that management are using rising concerns about assaults as a pretext to undermine our jobs by bringing in staff from other areas of TfL to do station staff's work. Rather than increase station staffing, the company prefers staffing on the cheap, and is using Surface Transport staff for patrol duties.

Not only does this undermine Tube staff, it also puts the Surface Transport staff in danger - as highlighted by a recent incident at Barking.

A Surface Transport worker attended a suspected stabbing, but instead of thanking and supporting him, management told him off for not having a radio - that'll be the non-existent radio that they don't issue to these workers! Management were quick to point out that there is a lengthy document with some small print saying that you can have a radio if you ask nicely, but that's not good enough.

We need proper staffing to protect us against violence at work.

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“20 additional colleagues”?

Published on: Wed, 02/10/2019 - 16:11

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 alas, the reality is not so encouraging.

These “colleagues” aren’t additional LU station staff, but staff drafted in from TfL’s Surface Transport department – workers who deal with taxi enforcement and revenue issues on buses. They are not trained or licensed to work on LU stations. They have no ability to intervene in any safety or security issue that takes place on the station.

LU aren’t even putting a sticking plaster on a gaping wound… they’re rubbing salt in it.

They’re also putting the Surface Transport workers, who are fellow transport workers and trade unionists, in an extremely difficult position by using them in this way. They shouldn’t have to be drafted in to be spare bodies when what’s so clearly needed is additional LU staff.

LU’s woefully inadequate response to issues of antisocial behaviour and workplace violence on District East, at West Ham, and elsewhere, show that the bosses are more committed to their agenda of penny-pinching budgetary savings than to the safety and wellbeing of workers.

It’s time for action. We need strikes to win a safe staffing level.

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Action due in District East safety dispute

Published on: Thu, 26/09/2019 - 11:52

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 assaults prompted the local union to launch a dispute.

The demand is clear: more staff, end lone working.

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Take action against lone working!

Published on: Tue, 27/08/2019 - 17:56

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 to take action-short-of-strikes, in the form of working from a place of safety when lone working, and refusing to detrain or attend incidents alone.

The ballot runs from 29 August to 12 September. If you work on District East, vote yes for action!

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Hey buddy

Published on: Mon, 25/03/2019 - 21:29

London Underground has announced a new 'buddy system' if we're lone working on stations.

Every two hours, you're supposed to phone your mate at the next station to check they're alright.

But what use is a phone call two hours after you've been assaulted?

The buddy system has previously only been used on nights when there are no passengers - it can't keep us safe during the day.

On the east end of the District Line, RMT wants to ballot for industrial action about lone working. It is also tackling the root cause of lone working by fighting for more staff.

Tubeworker topics

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District and H&C workers resist lone working

Published on: Fri, 22/03/2019 - 18:44

Station staff on the District East group, and drivers at Upminster and Barking depots on the District and Hammersmith and City Lines, are planning ballots for industrial action to protest lone working.

A recent spate of antisocial behaviour and violence, including stabbings, in the area sparked workers’ concern. A statement from their union branch, RMT East Ham, said: “In the space of three days, there has been a shooting and two stabbings on trains within our Branch area, and a further knife attack outside one of our stations. In all of these incidents, our members acted with bravery and professionalism, but this should not be a normal part of our jobs. Unfortunately, these types of crimes are becoming more common, putting our members at unacceptable risk.”

The ballot will be for industrial action short of a strike, specifically to refuse to lone work at stations alone or to detrain trains alone.

Lone working is a direct consequence of LU’s cuts to staffing levels over successive years; District Line workers are right to resist it.

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More Stations Fight Short-Staffing

Published on: Thu, 10/01/2019 - 10:23

Station staff on the Northern and District lines are set to follow in the footsteps of Bakerloo South and ballot for strikes for better staff coverage.

In the stations around Earl's Court and Hendon Central, duties are regularly left uncovered and staff left to run stations alone. Lone working is dangerous and stressful, and staff have had enough. On both these groups, union members are asking RMT to call industrial action to force management to fill vacancies and cover duties.

Tubeworker knows that this problem is rampant across our stations. So how about we fight back across the job. Together we are stronger.

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4LM Delayed

Published on: Wed, 05/12/2018 - 01:00

The "Four Lines Modernisation" (4LM) upgrade on the District, Met, Circle, and H and C missed the 17/18 November "go live" date for the first phase of automatic train operation.

There have been numerous problems with Thales' new signalling system, including more than one train entering a signalling section at once during a simulated test. It has now been put back to next year. By 2018, Bombardier was supposed to complete the entire upgrade - before it pulled out of its contract, costing TfL £85 million. Thales doesn't seem to be seem to be delivering on its promises either.

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Wot No Coverage?

Published on: Wed, 08/08/2018 - 21:08

Uncovered duties on stations are now a daily reality across much of the combine. Local managers are saying they can't cover duties on overtime because the budgets are maxed out and money is too tight. Tubeworker says: if you've maxed out your overtime budget to such an extent that you literally can't afford to cover duties, maybe you didn't have enough staff in the first place?

One particular station on the District Line closed multiple times last week for short periods as staff refused to do the bosses favours by staying on at the end of their duties or coming in on rest days for less than whole shifts (because of course, management couldn't afford to give them OT for a whole shift, so just tried to get people to come in for long enough to plug the gaps). That's the spirit we need everywhere: if the company won't hire the staff to run the service, why should we help them paper over the cracks?

Tubeworker topics

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Jubilee and Acton District drivers: all out on 6 and 14 June!

Published on: Tue, 22/05/2018 - 14:57

Despite previous commitments to improve work/life balance and reduce weekend working, a new timetable management is attempting to impose on the Jubilee Line in fact increases weekend working. Quite rightly, drivers aren't having it. Both Aslef and RMT members will strike on 6 and 14 June to resist the imposition of the new timetable.

Elsewhere, Aslef members at the Acton depot on the District Line are due to strike again on the same dates, after a previous strike in April, over disciplinary procedures. Tubeworker encourages all Acton drivers, whatever union you're in, to join the strike.

See you on the picket lines!

Tubeworker topics

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