Tube unions on the case

Submitted by AWL on 7 April, 2020 - 9:12
London Underground

Whether by local management showing common sense, or by frontline staff initiative for social distancing in Tube stations, we’ve seen:

• The use of tensa barriers and tape to mark distancing zones around gatelines and POMs (ticket machines)
• Staff rotation and redeployment around the station
• Repurposing of rooms around the station so staff don’t have to crowd into small mess rooms

In contrast is a station where the Area Manager has said, in writing, that they believe “business as usual” should prevail as much as possible. Union reps are on the case.

An employee bulletin has recommended that station staff “avoid” touching the POMs [ticket machines]; but, for safety, the machines should be switched off, and gates left open.

London Underground’s engineering management has surpassed themselves with wanton risk-taking with workers’ health.

In “Asset Operations”, management have sent an Employee Bulletin to all workers telling them that they should try to stay two metres apart, but if they can’t, just crack on anyway.

Workers should protect themselves, their families, and their workmates, and stick to social distancing.

Section 44 walkout wins

Refuse workers in Medway, Kent, have won all their key demands after a short walk-out under “Section 44” (of the Employment Rights Act 1996, which gives workers the right to withdraw from work areas which they see as offering “serious and imminent danger”.

They have also won full pay for the two days of the stoppage. There are still some issues to be sorted out, but the workers’ main concern was not having to go out three or four to a cab in the wagons.

Bosses have also agreed to provide PPE and hand sanitiser, and arrange for public toilets to be kept open or accessible for the refuse workers.

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