OEP: Attack on Drivers' Safety

From Steve Hedley, RMT Regional Organiser:

If anyone has bought into the management propaganda that the 800 station staff job cuts will not affect drivers, the management's latest attack on safety should shatter their illusions.

LUL has put forward a raft of proposals which will compromise the safety of drivers and passengers alike, and are trying to steamroller them through in order to do away with the need for station staff.

Managements new 'Operational Effectiveness Programme' seeks to:

1. re-categorise Category A platforms, where station staff are needed to dispatch trains, and to make them instead Category B platforms, where the driver bears the full responsibility for the train. An ASLEF driver has already been sacked for an incident when no station staff were present and someone was dragged along a platform.

2. give drivers responsibility for detraining a stalled train after 30 minutes without communication. This will mean that drivers unfamiliar with certain areas will nevertheless be forced to detrain passengers if LUL gets its way.

3. ask drivers to 'notch back' after passing red signals without changing ends of the train. If a driver did this today, s/he would be sacked.

4. force drivers to carry passengers over shunt signals - despite someone being killed in such a procedure at Liverpool Street.

The RMT trains safety reps are appalled at these proposals which LUL have sought to bring in simply to get rid of the station staff who currently perform them. We all need to get actively involved with the 'Staff Our Stations' campaign and stop these dangerous job cuts which will turn our platforms into death traps. These job cuts are an attack on every grade and the RMT must respond by fighting them as an all-grades industrial union.