ACAS Talks Halted Over Union Safety Concerns

Talks aimed at settling the dispute over night running on London Underground have been halted this morning (Tuesday) after tube union RMT was called in for an emergency meeting with the safety regulator following a series of serious breaches of safety protocols over the past week directly linked to the RMT overtime ban.

The talks were due to recommence at ACAS this morning but have been shelved to allow for RMT senior representatives to attend the urgent meeting at the ORR.

The safety issues have been raised by RMT over the weekend.

At both Upminster and Stonebridge Park depots over the weekend, managers without the Safety Critical License that allows them to bring trains into service were prepared to do just that in a blatant and dangerous contravention of the agreed regulations with serious implications for passenger and staff safety. Other related issues are being reported through to the union from local reps.

RMT immediately raised the breaches with the safety regulator and an urgent meeting has been convened for 9.30am this morning. The attempt to ride roughshod over the safety rulebook is directly linked to the shortage of staff due to the current RMT overtime ban across LU.

The union is compiling a full dossier of similar safety breaches.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“RMT has received a number of reports from local reps of the most flagrant breaches of safety protocols on London Underground over the weekend which are directly related to a management drive to keep services running in light of the overtime ban, regardless of the impact on passenger and staff safety.

Those issues have been raised with the safety regulator and as a result ACAS talks on the dispute due this morning have been halted to allow for an urgent meeting to discuss the breaches of agreements, licences and procedures.

Instead of riding roughshod over the safety rulebook to try and plug the widening gaps opening up as a result of the overtime ban the tube management should be spending their time addressing the fundamental issues at the heart of the current disputes.”