LU use recession as cover to undermine jobs and safety

We all know that there is a recession. We have witnessed it first hand with this year’s pay cut and the sacking of our members just to reduce staffing numbers.
But not all companies necessarily view a recession as a bad thing. What LU are doing is hiding behind the recession and using it as a excuse to cut our pay, slash jobs and introduce unsafe working practices.
London Underground’s Operational Standards Unit (OSU), the authors of our new rule book and the department responsible for all our rules and procedures, have been working overtime thinking up ways to get more train miles run with less staff.
Their latest brainstorm, the Operational Effectiveness Programme is a series of proposals designed to speed up recovery time even if they compromise our safety.
Discussions between LU and the Unions on these proposals are due to commence soon.
There are many aspects to this programme but just to give a flavour a few are detailed here:
Notching back: in the event that trains over run signals LU want to be able to notch the train, in reverse, back into the platform; drivers used to get sacked or dipped for this!
Check signals and proceed: after a SPAD, they are proposing that drivers go back into the cab, check the aspect and if it is green proceed! Drivers also used to get the sack for this. This is their second attempt at introducing this one; last year this proposal was kicked out by LU’s very own director of safety. It wouldn’t be soo bad but no doubt you will still get done for having a SPAD.
PTI issues at unstaffed stations: LU appears to be looking ahead to the future when they can leave stations unstaffed and run the job into the ground like they did on the old BR. When you have defective OPO they want the driver to check the platform themselves then proceed. Nevermind what could happen in the time you get back to the cab!
Connect radio: LU have advised that they are looking at expanding the use of Connect radio and making changes to current procedures; no doubt this will involve running trains at some point even with defective radios. Remember the words of Tim O’Toole after the 7/7 bombings? No radio no train; your union will expect LU to honour this promise.
Most of the procedures proposed appear to looking at aiding recovery without the need for station staff; you don’t have to be a genius to work out that these proposals are the starter for a slash on station staffing numbers. Drivers need station staff to assist them, it’s as simple as that.
These are all line in the sand issues; it would appear that there are no more sacred cows with LU. If we let them away with these proposals they will go on to attack every last hard fought for safety measure that we have secured over the years.
Once they can cut staffing levels no further and they can’t get any more train miles out of you they will be back for your 35 hour week, your staff pass, your pension and your annual leave.
The RMT will continue to fight for the continued safety of it members and confront injustice wherever we meet it.