Bakerloo Branch newsletter May 2010

Click on the attachment to see the latest Branch Newsletter.

Articles follow...

Don’t be fooled by the lies - Stand up for jobs and safety
London Underground has fired the first shots in the coming battle over jobs and safety with their recent consultation document. They have announced that 450 ticket office positions must go as well as another 150 CSA positions. Meanwhile, management have approached the Train’s Health & Safety Council (THSC) with proposals for the worst watering down of safety standards ever seen. Add to this a leaked document from management in which they spell out their plans for smashing the unions on the job and it is clear that our bosses are intent on reversing all the gains we have won over the years and are going to put both us and the passengers in danger with their attacks on safety.

At a recent valuing time forum managers tried to suggest that they were doing us a favour claiming that if they don’t slash and burn our jobs now then the next government will bring in the private sector to do the deed. Of course the truth of the matter is that it was our bosses’ enthusiastic embrace of the PPP that got us into this mess in the first place. The choice between public sector cuts or private sector cuts is a nonsense, a third option is bringing all the work on the Underground back in house and clear out all the private sector consultants milking the PPP for all it’s worth. Also management are using the recession as a smoke screen for cutting jobs. Every study of the ticket offices shows that on average every SAMF earns the company five times more in revenue than they are paid. Meanwhile they are trying to drive away customers from the booking offices with a minimum £5 top up or insisting that tickets are renewed online. London Underground should think more about making money rather than saving money. But the fact of the matter is that the public want to see our stations fully staffed. If LU is really interested in customer satisfaction culling the staff on the job is not the way to go about this.
Management’s absurd claim is that the only way to protect our jobs is to destroy them. Is this the best these highly paid yes men can come up with?
RMT is opposing this attack on staffing levels on the tube. Just like the PPP do not be fooled that LU’s proposal is the only option. Do not be cowed or intimidated by management’s propaganda. Mike Brown and his cronies are right about one thing, there are tough choices ahead. For us the choice is between keeping our heads down for the next few years while our safety and job security worsens, or taking the fight to the bosses and delivering a safe and well run public transport system for us all. Workers across the combine need to stand up and stop this assault on our railway.

Wot no pay rise?
Yes, from the captains of industry who brought you the PPP and earn some of the highest wages in the public sector we now have ‘oops there’s been a technical error!’ Some people on London Underground sell tickets, others staff the gatelines, drive trains, fix signals and clean the stations. In return the bosses are left with one simple task: pay us our bloody wages! After being informed that our customer service bonus scores had taken an unprecedented dive in the final month thus depriving us of the full £500, we all smelled a rat. Obviously the management have gone into default position and looked for someone else to blame for their incompetence, but as we all know when it comes to a top quality balls up on this job, it’s the halfwits at 55 Broadway who are almost always to blame. Anyway, Mike Brown has promised us that as soon as he finds the on switch on his computer our hard won pay rise will be winging its way into our accounts.

Nighty Knight, by Steve Hedley RMT Regional Organiser
Management’s have stated that the GSM at Oxford Circus group has gone off to assist Lance Ramsey, it would seem however GSM Knight has been moved on from Oxford Circus following extensive pressure and a mandate to ballot for strike from our members.
Ms Knight since moving to Oxo had done more to unify the RMT and our sister union TSSA than our reps and activists had managed to do for years! Reps and activists have complained of blatant disregard and contempt of both sets of reps (H&S and industrial) and an unwillingness to engage in any form of dialogue caused both unions to instruct their executive committees to ballot their members for action.
The GSM inflamed the situation when she said ‘Simon Jones (GSM Charing Cross) and myself (Esther) come from educated backgrounds and therefore have to dumb ourselves down when speaking to you staff’ highlight the disgusting attitude this manager has towards our members.
The GSM tried to ride roughshod over health & safety procedures during the run up to the escalator refurb works at Oxo by trying to exclude reps from the consultative process, causing tier 2 and level 2 reps to get involved and with senior management intervening to clear up her mess.
During a recent level 1 meeting she would not even respond to our reps points which were raised just saying ‘I've heard you: move on’. She even had the gall to accuse our reps of shouting and using abusive language, yet even the minute taker of that meeting denies any of her allegations. It’s clear that if she can't get her way she resorts to slander and character assassination to make herself look like the victim.
It appears that there is one rule for GSM’s and one for the rest of the staff Having been the only centurion manager in recent times to have been given a warning for her conduct it's appalling that after around 9 moves in as many years from different groups this GSM is still being given management positions.
LU needs to wake up to the fact that incompetent managers must not receive special treatment. If our members performed as badly as some managers they would be queuing up to sign on.
Lastly though, great recognition needs to be given to the members and the local reps for the sterling work they have all done in organising the rank and file and showing what sticking together can achieve. It's a great victory by our members at Oxo group and this needs to be built on for the current dispute as jobs are under attack, after all it's people like the ex GSM that need to be dealt with.