Tubeworker's blog

Headcount Review?

Word reaches Tubeworker HQ that a manager in Stations Structural Maintenance has been appointed to conduct a "headcount review" of the entire department.

Is this is a taste of things to come across the combine? No doubt Tory-appointed auditors KPMG will be recommending similar reviews elsewhere....

Charter checklist

The RMT's "Covid-19 Charter" is a useful document, collating the main demands for additional safety measures and policies the union has been pressing for across LU throughout the pandemic.

We need to be prepared to take action around it. That means using the charter like a checklist, ticking off...

Ceiling trouble

Staff and passengers got a shock at Hainult on Tuesday 30 June when a large number of ceiling tiles suddenly fell out and smashed. Fortunately no-one was hurt.

Union safety reps are on the case, pressuring management to ensure a full and thorough investigation into how this happened.

With LU...

Cabs for the Picc

LU has agreed that the new stock on the Picc, due sometime in the mid-2020s, will have drivers' cabs on the trains.

The company's original plans for the upgrade suggested the new stock might be driverless. The announcement is therefore extremely welcome. Unions need to keep the pressure up to...

New Masks with Unreasonable Asks

Management have a stack of new masks on order for us, which claim to offer more protection than the current ones.

But in the circular announcing said masks is an onerous - and clearly discriminatory - statement about said masks. The circular declares that the comapny "will require all of our...

Cleaners Pushed Around

Cleaners on the Bakerloo line have reported being moved from their usual locations to work elsewhere on the line, including train pickers at Elephant being sent to do accommodation cleaning at Stonebridge Park.

These displacements seem to be the result of ABM cutting back on its use of agency...

Two Masks, Too Few

ABM has been providing masks to cleaners, but has only issued cleaners with two each. Although the masks are washable, some cleaners have reported that they become ineffective with repeated washing and use, with the material wearing out or becoming damaged. Cleaners have found it difficult to obtain...

For workers' unity against racism: Black Lives Matter!

On 18 June, Tubeworker held a successful meeting to discuss the Black Lives Matter struggle. The discussion was led by Glen Hart, chair of the RMT's Black and Ethnic Minority Members Advisory Committee. The article below is based on a summary of the discussion at the meeting.

Some comrades have...

Back to normal?

With shops reopening, and the worst of the pandemic, in terms of death rates and the rates of new infections, hopefully behind us, some LU managers appear to fee licensed to push for a return to our normal, pre-pandemic ways of working.

On stations, we've seen Area Managers try to unilaterally...

Say no to drivers' overtime!

London Underground has announced, more or less out of the blue, that it wants to create the facility for drivers to do overtime and rest day working. This has to be resisted. Tube drivers don't currently do overtime, and that is how it should remain.

We get a relatively decent wage, and if we...

All Risk Assessments Matter?

Management's slapdash approach to risk assessments for black and minority ethnic (BAME) workers is shocking even by their usual standards. The Mayor told the company it had to do this risk assessment. Then before you know it, a hurried document has come out which makes no reference whatsoever to the...

One Way, Wrong Way

Spare a thought for passengers and staff at Finsbury Park station, where the one-way system is causing grief as well as social distancing.

Passengers arriving from the above-ground station are coming down to the Tube station, only to be told that they have to walk round to the other side of the...

Masks, Visors, and Volunteers...

The government has finally announced, well behind many other countries, that face coverings will be compulsory on public transport from 15 June. No sooner had the policy been announced than ministers appeared to unpick it, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps saying they only needed to be worn on...

Pay Us Our Wages!

LU announced at today's Company Council meeting that they'll be staggering the payment of the back pay they owe us. In July we'll get the back pay for April 2019-April 2020, then in August we'll the pay increase we were due in April 2020, and the back pay on that, and the next increase, and...

Banking on it?

In another sign of lurching back to “business-as-usual” before it's safe, LU wants to deploy SRT staff at the bottom of escalators at Bank. Exactly why the company wants to do this isn't clear; what we do know is that SRT union reps weren't consulted on this plan, it was just unilaterally announced...

Wot No (Open) WAG?!

Throughout the pandemic, Wide Aisle Gates (WAGs) at most stations have been left open, as managers rightly acknowledged that swift and safe travel, rather than revenue collection, was the priority. We're now seeing manager insist that WAGs are shut, with lots more gates now fully operational. Is...

TfL announces risk assessments for BAME staff

Mayor Khan has announced that TfL will now be conducted "personal risk assessments" for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) workers, in response to the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on black people and other people of colour.

It's not clear exactly what the assessments will consist of...

Driving us to despair

Numerous local managers, particularly on stations, are now blocking request for the reimbursement of mileage expenses, and telling staff they're expected to use public transport to get to and from work.

Public health advice remains to avoid public transport if at all possible. For staff who have...

Don't leave Night Tube workers in the dark

London Underground has told a meeting of the Trains Functional Council, the negotiating body for drivers, comprised of senior bosses plus reps from Aslef and RMT, that it plans to mothball Night Tube, which has been suspended for months, until March 2021.

There's every reason to continue the...

Cashless shouldn't mean heartless

As stations adapt to going largely cashless, some LU managers have taken the opportunity to provide feedback about how good it is that there are fewer homeless people hanging around ticket halls.

As Tubeworker has said previously, unless begging is disruptive or passengers are at risk of being...

Absence Clampdown? Sick!

One of the orchestra of strings attached to the government financial bailout of TfL is that the company now has to report staff absence data to the government.

This is pretty obviously a precursor to 'improving' attendance figures by cracking the whip once we are back to 'normal' times.

But if...

Backing Down from Attack on Disabled Passengers

When the Tory Government held a gun to the head of TfL and made them sign a bailout deal last week, one thing they had in their sights was disabled people's Freedom Passes.

Yes, in true Tory style, they declared that they would consider restricting the times at which disabled people could use...

Drivers sent home for making a stand on safety

Aslef is reporting today (18 May) that up to 30 drivers have been sent home after raising safety concerns, including some who raised concerns about not being able to safely distance in staff mess rooms due to the number of drivers on duty.

Some drivers were issued with a letter from their local...

Cleaners in the pandemic: a view from the frontline

A Tube cleaner and RMT activist spoke to Tubeworker about cleaners' struggles in the pandemic.




Being a cleaning worker during this period has been tough. We're absolutely on the frontline. As outsourced workers, many of us feel forgotten about, left behind, and ignored. Our employer, ABM...

Funding comes with Tory strings

Mayor Khan needs to brush up on his negotiation skills. Mere hours after he announced TfL was on the verge of running out of money, and services may stop running if additional funding wasn't forthcoming, he managed to secure... a package of less money than is needed, with more strings attached than...

Khan on cuts

It might have taken a global pandemic to force it from him, but Mayor Khan has finally admitted that running a major metropolitan transport system on massively reduced funding simply isn't feasible.

Khan told the media on 14 May that: "Unless the government today gives us confirmation of the...

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