JOB CUTS – LUL – Vote YES for action to defend safety and jobs

From General Secretary Bob Crow

You will shortly be receiving a ballot paper to your home address over the massive job cuts that LUL Management are planning. These disastrous cuts will result in detrimental working conditions and seriously undermine safety of staff and the travelling public.

Over the last few months we have been meeting with senior management to get them to negotiate in a sensible way over these issues that will affect your future. LUL have rejected all our efforts to reach an agreement and have even refused to go to ACAS, in breach of their own machinery of negotiation.

RMT has warned repeatedly that stations would not function properly with the proposed level of job cuts. The inevitable outcome would be that the remaining staff would be placed under huge pressure, with more unsafe lone working and many stations at times would be left unstaffed. In addition to their plans to cut 800 station admin and operational manager’s jobs, management claim that they have 300 more drivers than they need and indeed seem to be cutting them down with sackings for the most trivial offence.

The dangerous consequences of having 800 fewer staff have driven LUL to propose crazy safety changes so that drivers self despatch trains, reverse blindly after passing red signals and even detrain passengers in a tunnel with no assistance. Many of you will have heard the ludicrous idea of driverless trains being spread about in the media.

At the same time train drivers’ jobs are being cut by stealth through the non filling of vacancies, cutting team talk and annual training being cut from five to three days. Our engineers have already been warned of job cuts in a leaked management document which warned of cuts on “a huge scale” and called their loyal staff “ageing and entrenched.”

All grades will be affected by these savage job cuts which are only the beginning of LUL’s attempt to cut costs and we must fight them together. Meanwhile, across London Underground many staff are being sacked by management for issue that are relatively small.

The RMT has won a no compulsory redundancy agreement and defended it successfully last year but any redundancies would mean that those left behind have to pick up the extra work and suffer the effects of horrendous rosters and dangerous procedures just to keep the job running. Your union cannot accept that you should pay with your job and safety for management’s financial incompetence. We will not sit idly by.

I am therefore calling on all London Underground members to vote strongly in favour of industrial action in the forthcoming ballot. It’s time to take a stand and send management a clear message that job cuts will not be tolerated especially when it’s clear this will be detrimental to working conditions and seriously undermine safety.

Ballot Papers will be sent out by the independent scrutineer to your home addresses on Tuesday 20th July 2010. I urge you to vote ‘Yes’ on both questions to defend jobs and safety. The closing date for the ballot will be Wednesday 11th August 2010

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