Blog: why you should be wary of London Underground's Yammer network


In our digitally-connected world, a workplace social media platform seems like a good idea. But there’s more to LU’s Yammer network than meets the eye.

Presented as an opportunity for two-way dialogue with our employers, where they’ll listen to and take on board our concerns about what’s happening at work, Yammer is in reality more of a megaphone for the bosses than a genuine conversation.

It operates a strict policy of immediately deleting any posts that include union material, or even links to union material. There are specific groups for unions, but anyone referencing or linking to union literature in general discussion finds their posts swiftly deleted by a moderator.

This means that the employers are allowed to broadcast their propaganda, their employee bulletins and communiques, freely, but we are only allowed to respond as individuals. Our collective voice, our trade union, is effectively silenced.

Change doesn't happen because some senior manager reads a well-constructed post on Yammer, becomes individually convinced of its argument, and decides to change LU policy. London Underground management is a collective body, working out its approaches based largely on looking for budgetary cutbacks. As such, it is only collective pressure, based on collective organisation, that can force concessions from them.

Used properly, Yammer may well be a useful platform for sharing information with colleagues from other workplaces and other parts of the company. But if you use it, use it with open eyes, and don’t fall for the bosses’ claim that they’re taking our opinions on board.

If you want to make your boss listen to you, get involved in your union. Speak to your local rep, or stand for election yourself. Discuss workplace issues with colleagues, and raise them via your rep’s regular local meetings with management. Attend your union branch’s monthly meetings and discuss issues there. RMT also has its own WhatsApp groups and social media platforms where issues can be discussed.

If you don't know who your local reps are, or which branch you're in, check union notice-cases in your messroom, or email