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LU Olympics Disputes Explained - Casualisation and Cleaners dispute

Olympic Working Dispute

RMT and London Underground have an agreement regarding Olympics working. We are committed to sticking to this agreement, but have had reason to be concerned that management may not do so. We have therefore taken the step of calling 'action short of strikes' in the form of an instruction not to work outside your job description.

Please note that this is *not* an overtime ban, or a ban on higher grade working or anything else you can do under the agreements that apply to you and/or in the normal course of your job. Rather, it is intended to ensure that LU management stick to our agreements by giving you the protection to say 'no' to any attempt by management to coerce you into working outside your job description and the agreements that form part of it.

Examples might include attempts by management to require you to:

  • work Olympic duties that you have not volunteered for, without the agreement of your level one committee
  • work at a location that you can not be required to work at under the agreements governing your function.

If management attempt to require you to do something that you think may be outside your job description, please contact your RMT representative immediately.

We have had reports that ICSA's have been working on the 'paid side' of the barrier, carrying out platform duties etc. Supervisors should ensure that ICSA's are on the 'unpaid' side of the barrier and are not used to make up minimum numbers. If you as a Supervisor are instructed to use ICSA's to make up minimum numbers contact your Level 1 Rep. immediately. You are covered by a ballot of action short of strike action.

It is our sincere hope that London Underground complies with our agreements and that therefore no-one will need to take any action in line with this 'action short' instruction.

There is more on this dispute here


RMT is in dispute with London Underground over its attempts to casualise the workforce by breaking the agreed settlement of our 2008 dispute. Among other issues, we are strongly opposed to LUL’s policy of counting ICSAs towards minimum station staffing numbers and deploying them on the ‘paid’ side of the barrier, and are taking industrial action short of strikes to not co-operate with this.

We have had reports that ICSAs have been working on the ‘paid’ side of the barrier, carrying out platform duties etc. Station Supervisors should deploy ICSAs on the ‘unpaid’ side of the barrier only and not count them towards minimum numbers. If a manager instructs you as a Station Supervisor to count ICSAs towards minimum numbers, contact your local (Level 1) RMT representative immediately. You are covered by an official ‘action short of strike’ instruction following a ballot.

There is more on this dispute here


Cleaners employed by agencies were used to undermine the recent strike. Our union is seeking legal advice as to whether the cleaning companies breached the law that forbids the use of agency staff to break an industrial dispute.

Our cleaners are on poverty wages and have not been awarded an Olympic bonus. They need the support of all our members.

During the cleaners’ strike action, Station Supervisors should check that cleaners:

  • have valid entry permits (we have heard that some agencies do not have enough qualified cleaners, so are are forging permits or allowing more than one cleaner to work on the same permit)
  • are familiarised to work on the station
  • have PPE: Hi Vi, boots and gloves
  • have been trained in cleaning human fluid and vomit.

You should also raise jobs for spillages, unemptied bins, etc. if there are no cleaners on your station. Cleaning companies are fined for each job which is left open.

There is more about the cleaners struggle for a London Living Wage here.