Rule Book

Anthony Codd reinstated - solidarity wins!

Published on: Fri, 21/12/2018 - 18:27

The threat of strikes among Track maintenance workers has beaten the bosses sacking of Anthony Codd, sacked for following procedures in a disciplinary. Tubeworker is pleased to report that the mere threat of strikes was enough to win his job back. When we stand together, we are more than a match for management.

Tubeworker topics
Trade Unions

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Rule Book changes help job cuts

Published on: Mon, 21/04/2014 - 21:49

We all knew that LU couldn't implement station staff cuts without rewriting the LU Rule Book. Changes will come into effect on Monday 28 April... the first day of our next strike.

Worryingly, "The requirement for accessing a station when closed or unstaffed", which has applied to surface stations since the 2007 Rule Book, will be extended to "all stations". This means that engineers, cleaners, and other workers on stations could have to evacuate themselves from an unstaffed subsurface station! As one cleaning worker put it: "I like to know that if the station got broken into overnight, there is an LU supervisor there, watching everything on the camera, who has got my back". Unions have not agreed to this change.

Another change is that "Station supervisors are no longer responsible for checking worksites after the work has finished". The person in charge has sole responsibility. LU operational staff should decide whether the area is safe for the travelling public. It's just another pretext for cutting jobs.

Unions have raised objections to the changes. These need to be turned into an active campaign. Unions should start making preparations for engineers, cleaners, and other staff to refuse to work on unstaffed stations.

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OSN 101: Keep Pressure On!

Published on: Sun, 29/01/2012 - 16:47

With OSN 101, platforms were recategorised so that drivers no longer need assistance from station staff. RMT is boycotting this unsafe, staff-cutting measure.

But train ops have found it tricky to carry out the boycott. When asking for assistance at recently regraded 'Cat B' stations, some supervisors have told drivers they are too busy to assist.

Maybe Line Controllers and SS's involved are RMT members who don’t understand why some drivers are refusing to self dispatch. Maybe some grades don’t feel able to support drivers in boycotting OSN101 because only drivers were balloted.

All grades need more information. Drivers working on their own need a lot of confidence to carry out the boycott. Advice should be issued to ASLEF drivers too, as their union has gone along with this policy so far.

We’ve recently seen a pattern of unions decelerating after taking initial action, such as being told not to accept the new 'Defective in Service Manuals' but then going quiet. We need to keep the pressure on!

Tubeworker topics

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No to OSN 101!

Published on: Fri, 04/11/2011 - 11:08

RMT drivers voted by 80% to boycot LU's new OSN 101, which removes assisted dispatch and allows trains to reverse into platforms and passengers to be carried over shunt signals.

Like any action short of strike, successful action will require a lot of hard work by reps giving out information in every depot. There have been some examples where CCTV has not been working but drivers did not know they needed to request assisted dispatch.

But there are some success stories. At Holland Park, a driver noticed no CCTV and requested assisted dispatch. The member of station staff remained on the platform for the entire day.

This is a great example of drivers working to defend safety and protecting stations jobs at the same time. As the action picks up and spreads, there will be more examples like this.

Tubeworker topics

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Wot No OLBI?

Published on: Fri, 01/08/2008 - 06:50

When Goodge Street station was opened at the start of traffic the other week, the Online Battery Inverter was down, so the station had no back-up source of power. The Station Supervisor rang the DSM, pointing out that the Rule Book states that the station should therefore be closed. The DSM's repsonse? 'The rule book is only a guideline', showing the characteristic regard of a manager for staff and public safety. When the supervisor insisted, the DSM said he was on his way. It took him an hour and 10 mins to get there, by which time the engineers had all but fixed the problem.

This shows that supervisors need to have the confidence to stick to their guns, as management can't be trusted with our safety. It also shows the purpose and application of the rule book is to water down standards and make it up as they go along.

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Wot No Station Checks?

Published on: Thu, 24/04/2008 - 10:11

Management seem to think it's OK for a Supervisor to book on at Canons Park at 06:45 but not do a station check until after 10:30. So staff and passengers will be left trusting to luck that the station is safe for those four hours around the morning peak.

Why are local management doing this? Because they are determined that the ticket office should open at 07:00 on the nose, even though this is one of the ticket offices the company was trying to close last year!

Managers are helped in their endeavours by the new Rule Book (more of a guidebook, really), which reckons that it doesn't really matter when a Supervisor checks the station so long as you have a stroll round once during your shift. So if, say, the night-turn SS did his/her check at the start of the duty and the early turn at the end, then the station could go overnight and well over 12 hours without being checked!

Tube workers continue to live with the consequences of management imposing a dangerous Rule Book and our unions failing to fight it.

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Line Supplements

Published on: Thu, 17/01/2008 - 17:18

As you may know, we have been working under a 'new Rule Book' for half a year now without any up-to-date line supplements! Somewhat tricky when there is so much stuff specific to each line.

LUL is finally getting round to looking at the line supplements, but has put a spanner in the works by inviting just one Tier 1 (local) union health & safety rep per line to the discussions. But Tier 1 reps represent just one depot, so they can not possibly know all the issues for drivers at other depots on the line. Important issues would undoubtedly be overlooked, and all because management are stingy about union reps' release.

Anyone would think that rules for the safe running of the railway don't really interest management that much ...

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Wrong Direction? Wrong Rules!

Published on: Fri, 17/08/2007 - 15:14

It seems that we all continue to ignore the new Rule Books, preferring to stick to procedures that we know are safe. For instance, earlier this week, during the signal failure on the District line, a driver needed to do a Wrong Direction Move near Dagenham East - and naturally, needed the station supervisor to give him authorisation to do so. Never mind that under the new 'Rules' the SS no longer has any role in a WDM: we all know it's not safe without that form.

Mind you, the fact that the supervisor was not track familiarised - although was very familiar with what he was doing - did mean that the procedure took a fair bit longer than it should have done. So that's another training cock-up by management.

And it's another pause for thought ... If LUL gets its way over ticket office closures, the supervisor would probably have been busy selling tickets in place of a displaced SAMF, so would have taken even longer to get the job done.

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Permit to Enter?

Published on: Sat, 02/06/2007 - 11:16

A TubeLines Site Person in Charge accepted a forged Permit to Enter to a machine chamber at Old Street. The Station Supervisor picked up on it, and the unauthorised person left the station, but TubeLines did not query their procedures on how this had come about.

Under the new Rule Book, Station Supervisors have much less responsibility for monitoring contractors, and the likes of TubeLines will take over. This is a very good case for opposing the new Rule Book

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How the new Rule Book threatens stations jobs

Published on: Fri, 13/04/2007 - 17:03

Under the new Rule Book, Station Supervisors lose the following responsiblities:

  • giving the 'second right' (now called 'assisted despatch') to trains stopped part way out of a platform where there is working in-cab CCTV on which the driver can see the whole of the PTI, or where there are PED doors
  • isolating lifts/escalators/travs at close of traffic
  • carrying out pre-start checks in the machine room
  • carrying out pre-traffic checks of the lift communication equipment and emergency equipment
  • testing lifts for movement with the doors open, safe edge lift door testing, stop button tests
  • checking all worksites before start of traffic
  • checking PPE, drugs and alcohol and "many other checks" before allowing contractors to work on the station
  • three-hourly fire safety checks
  • being present for transferring passengers from a stalled train to an assisting train
  • supervising wrong direction movements

Some of these responsibilities have been scrapped, others have been passed to the infraco's site person in charge. It doesn't take a genius to see that further down this road lies the prospect of surface stations being left unsupervised, and SS night turns being scrapped with the infracos taking on the remaining SS responsibilities.

There are more rule changes that also threaten staffing levels:

  • allowing lift power-winding to be carried out by only one person
  • allowing medically-restricted staff to be counted towards minimmum staffing numbers

As we were saying ... The Rule Book is a major threat to stations jobs - already facing a cull in the ticket offices - and we must shape up to fight it.

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