Rail unions

Fantasy Union of Rail and Transport Workers

What kind of union do we need? There are strengths and weaknesses in our current union set-up. Union officials will often have you believe that things can only be done the way they are done, because ... well, because they have always been done that way. We do not agree. We have several criticisms of the existing rail unions, so it is only fair that we set out in more positive terms what our ideal union might look like. Let's call it the Fantasy Union of Rail and Transport Workers (FURT). Some of the good things about this fantasy union could be put in place by changes in rules and ways of...

Stop the SSP job cuts!

SSP Group the company that owns brands like Upper Crust and Cafe Ritazza as well as operating Burger Kings and over outlets in many stations is set to cut 5,000 jobs.

The coming onslaught on jobs is going to affect the entire industry and not just the frontline rail operational staff.

RMT...

Tube unions plan funding campaign

Unions organising across Transport for London and London Underground will hold a joint online rally on 15 July, to launch a campaign for increased funding for TfL and against cuts. At the time of going to press, RMT, Aslef, and Unite were backing the rally, with TSSA also expected to come on board. Exact details, including the time, had yet to be confirmed. Since the Tories abolished the central government subsidy to TfL, it has been almost wholly reliant on funding from fares and commercial revenue streams, meaning it was plunged into a profound financial crisis when passenger levels dropped...

Halting the Job Cuts Express

We know that job cuts are coming, thundering down the track towards us like a runaway freight train, loaded with attacks on our pay, conditions and pensions as well.

Wabtec has already announced job cuts at its Doncaster site, Heathrow Express is threatening to cut over a hundred posts, and we...

Defend Wabtec jobs!

Bosses at the Wabtec rail refurbishment factory in Doncaster have announced a plan to cut 450 jobs in several waves, starting in August and running through to March 2021. The cuts would halve the workforce.

The plans are now out for consultation, and responding should be quick and easy: not one...

Diary of a Tube worker: First day of shops reopened

“So I have to pay now? Since when? How long for?” The first day of the 60+ Oyster Card being excluded from morning peak time travel, is not going well, at least for these passengers. “Beep beep... beep beep...” I look at the gate and “57” flashes up. The code for a ticket or pass not being valid where it is being used. “Is it a 60+ Oyster or Older Persons Freedom Pass”? It is almost all our conversations for the first hours of the day. We all clock-watch till 9am when they become valid again and the questions will stop. “Where are all these people travelling at 5am who are over 60 going to...

Fined for taking a stand on safety?

On 18 May, train drivers’ union Aslef reported that up to 30 London Underground drivers were 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 manager which read: “You have indicated you are not willing to undertake your normal rostered duty, despite the fact that it is safe to do so and you have been provided with assurance documentation that confirms [there is] no serious and imminent danger. “I must now advise you...

Are rules a good way to save lives?

Network Rail has ten lifesaving rules. These are supposed to be rules for all staff to follow to keep them safe. They are the focus of Network Rail’s staff safety strategy:

1. Always be sure the required plans and permits are in place before you start a job or go on or near the line.
2. Always...

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