Tubeworker's blog

Tensas are Turtley Inadequate

As the reopening of Night Tube approaches, spare a thought for those stations where one of their Night Tube lines is reopening, but the other one is not.

Night Tube's late-night-party clientele will undoubtedly include people who have not twigged that only two lines are reopening, or did know but...

"Improve" the AAW?

An Employee Bulletin circulated to all LU staff today announces that the company intends to redraft the Attendance At Work (AAW) policy. It says the policy needs a "refresh" in order to "fully support our people and ensure we can offer the best service to London."

There's plenty about the AAW we...

No more cleaning cuts!

Word reaches Tubeworker HQ that ABM has been salami-slicing its staffing levels at a number of stations... again.

At Oxford Circus, for example, the contractor wants to have just two cleaners on the 07:00-15:00 shift, a ludicrous proposition given the size of the station and the workload involved...

Fight for Public Ownership of Rail!

Yet again a private rail franchise, this time Southeastern, has been shown to have its hands in the till, as “errors” meant that £25 million of public money was not returned to the government... seven years after it was due. As a result of this “serious breach” of the franchise agreement, the...

Naked Incompetence

Staff who ordered replacement uniform months ago are still awaiting its arrival. If you're lucky, you might get, say, one of the shirts you ordered, and maybe a tie, but the other shirts, all the trousers and the new boots are yet to be delivered.

And spare a thought for brand new staff, who are...

VIDEO: Sadiq Khan grilled by Tube worker on outsourcing of TfL cleaning

At the recent Labour Party conference, London mayor (and ultimate boss of TfL) Sadiq Khan was directly questioned by conference delegate and RMT activist Janine Booth about the outsourcing of Tube cleaning. We transcribe Janine's speech here. For the video, see the embedded tweet below.




"I've...

TSSA and the Boilermakers

TSSA has announced plans to merge with another union, "The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers." Never heard of them? Possibly because they are based in the United States.

That's right, TSSA's leadership think the way to strengthen the union is to merge with workers on a different continent...

Cutting through the fanfare on Northern Line extension...

With much fanfare and a fair amount of press coverage, the new Northern line extension stations Nine Elms and Battersea (aka Battersea Power Station... station) have now opened.

All things new attract attention, and we welcome the opening of new stations. But once the media attention fades...

Stations Left Unstaffed

It seems that stations are being left unstaffed through deliberate choice by management. On several occasions, staff were willing to work overtime to ensure the station was staffed, only for management to turn them down.

The dangers of this are obvious: operational incidents uncovered, passengers...

Bushy Platforms

Stations and trains staff across the combine have been reporting that bushes and grass have been growing through the cracks on many platforms, including through the yellow lines and near the platform edge. .

This is a serious hazard - especially when wet. The unions have raised it with management...

No Handlamp, No Train

It seems that the company is struggling to maintain drivers' handlamps adequately, perhaps because it is a somewhat, er, niche piece of kit. Management's answer? Suggest to drivers that they break the rules and drive without one. No thanks.

There are some pieces of equipment that we don't use...

Zone 1-6 one way taxi for £65

With the company so insistent they are strapped for cash, Tubeworker wonders how much is being wasted on special taxis. During the bank holiday engineering works on the Picc some drivers were ferried from one end of the line to the other just to carry out a single rounder. At £65 a go, was that...

Anti-union laws hit another ballot

RMT's ballot of fleet workers in depots where LU proposes to impose Automatic Train Control (ATC) for trains going into siding returned a 79% majority for strikes, and an 82% majority for action short of strikes. But as the turnout was just 42%, official (i.e., legal) industrial action can't be...

Fighting for work/life balance at Farringdon

There's no firm launch date for the Elizabeth Line (aka Crossrail), but as the Crossrail sections of the interchange stations begin to open, LU is altering staffing levels at stations like Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, and Liverpool Street.

In most locations, whilst not perfect...

"Four Key Areas"? One Key Response: Fight Back!

A new video on Yammer from Director of Customer Operations Nick Dent, the top boss for stations and trains, reminds us that the "four key areas" LU is looking at for ways to save money (i.e., make cuts) are "vacancies and recruitment", "our ways of working", "enhanced use of technology", and "a...

Say No to ATO! Vote Yes for Action!

RMT is balloting fleet workers at Ealing Common, Neasden, Hearne House, Hammersmith, and Upminster depots for industrial action to resist LU's plan to have trains run in automatic mode ("Automatic Train Operation", ATO; also known as "Automatic Train Control", ATC) in depot sidings.

This is a...

Suspending strikes is a misstep

RMT has called off drivers' strikes against Night Tube grade consolidation, planned for 3-5 August. Whilst we respect the views of comrades who argued for suspension, we believe this decision is wrong.

LU has paused implementation of its grade consolidation plan, and has committed to further...

Strikes suspended, but fight must continue

Since strikes dates were announced, trains reps and activists have been building for action across the combine. We can't squander the good work already done by letting the suspension of strikes drain our momentum. We need to build our resolve and keep focused on the next strike dates, 24-25 and 26...

Pension cuts are coming: prepare to fight!

TfL has now announced the timetable and terms of reference for the company's formal review of our pension scheme. We'll know the options they're considering by 31 October, and there'll be "implementation plan" by 31 March 2022. TfL bosses have said that "retain the status quo" could be a...

No to Fleet Casualisation

Management are showing how they intend to achieve the 'savings' and 'efficiencies' they are desperate to find - by attacking our job security. London Underground Ltd has revealed its plan to extend the use of fixed-term contracts and non-permanent labour (commonly known as temporary workers). LUL...

Tube drivers to strike for 3 August

Following the ballot for strike action over the abolition of the Night Tube drivers grade, RMT have now named two 48 hour strikes (3 - 5 and 24 - 26 August). 87% of drivers voting backed strike action and as RMT heads into talks with ACAS with days already declared, drivers should start building for...

Yammer spammer

Management have been spewing out propaganda against the RMT industrial action, on Yammer, the corporate social media platform.

The bosses do this safe in the knowledge that critical responses will be few and far between due to the threat of disciplinary action for speaking openly on their...

RMT calls it right on strikes

The RMT industrial action over the LU/Aslef plan to scrap the Night Tube driver grade strikes the right balance. A series of dates have been called which will cause serious disruption to London Underground should management not listen to drivers' demands.

The dates 3 and 5 August fall on a...

Not the dirt we clean

ABM cleaners will be on the frontline of cleaning up after boisterous (and then jubilant/despondent - delete as appropriate) football fans enjoying the Euro 2020/1 final today. They'll have to deal with spills, bodily fluids, and heaps of discarded food and drinks packaging.

This is after a...

Bakerloo line: off again, on again

It's been a comical - some might say farcical - day on the Bakerloo, with a flurry of public announcements from the company, each overturning the last.

The company announced that the Bakerloo would finish at 19:00, due to "a shortage of control centre staff who are having to self-isolate". The...

Don't Send Staff to Spread the Virus

Despite being back to normal rosters, stations are struggling with coverage due to sickness absence management not filling vacancies (and not employing enough staff).

CSMs and CSSs do their best to juggle coverage to keep stations open, but there are limits to what is acceptable in order to do...

Unions Reject Sick Covid Policy

Update (2 July): Management have backed down in the face of union opposition. But they have made it clear that they will be back to try this again in future. Tubeworker does not believe that there is any point at which it is OK to discipline someone for not coming to work with a deadly virus. The...

Safety first in mini-outbreaks

With the pandemic very much still ongoing, we're bound to see more mini-outbreaks at workplaces such as stations and depots, with multiple workmates testing positive.

Management must put safety, and not the need to get duties covered, first.

A generic email saying something along the lines of...

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