Piccadilly & District West Branch Newsletter

Defying Logic

Management are defying logic in attempting to pretend their staff cuts make sense. Passengers are getting on and off trains with no staff on duty, under the new ‘fingers crossed’ section of the rule book. Talking of the rule book, have you noticed in the latest version that each section starts off with a box saying that Managers can actually make up their own rules if necessary! Just in case there was any doubt! Not that most Managers get any thanks for using their initiative nowadays – the blame culture is bigger than it has ever been under the Boris regime.

Anyway, going back to station job cuts, at Earls Court staff are being instructed to close ticket offices, even when there are staff available and queues of passengers outside! Instead, they are expected to go queue busting. Obviously this doesn’t help the customers much, but the statistics will show that ticket offices are not being used.

At Acton Town, LU seems to want to use the staff as some sort of glorifies SRT to cover the gaps. This includes trying to get station staff to cover for striking RMT Heathrow Express members at T5. Heathrow Express are trying to impose unacceptable working arrangements as part of a pay deal to the disgust of the workers, who voted overwhelmingly to take action. We have invited Heathrow Express rep to come to our next branch meeting to tell us more.

Cuts in jobs are hitting trains too, as LU try to run the depots with insufficient drivers, meaning that trains are cancelled and work life balance arrangements become harder. LUL bosses answer to this is to pretend that sickness is the same as skiving. Years of good attendance makes no impression – line management says cut sickness, to improve their attendance figures. In other words, less actual management, more unskilled bullying. Of course it has the opposite effect – if your efforts to come in to work over many years are not appreciated, why make the effort?

We hear that one manager on the train side at Acton District is so keen to intimidate sick staff that he rings them at home even when they are in regular contact. Not only that, he has taken to telling people that you can be disciplined even for having a heart attack! So don’t even think about it!

Management may have lost track of managing staff, but they are trying their best to make up for it with silly announcements. It seems their plan is to replace staff with waffle.

Annual Leave and SAP

The last branch meeting heard two or three worrying examples of SAP errors leading to loss of annual leave. So keep your own records and make sure your leave allocation is correct, especially what’s carried over from one year to the next.

PAY 2011

Management are still clinging on to their 5 year pay offer – during which time they obviously intend to bring all sorts of schemes – not acceptable. The official level of inflation is 5.2%, but some prices are rising faster than that, certainly fuel prices are rocketing. Meanwhile passenger numbers are going up and Management seem to want to place more and more demands on staff. The Olympics is a huge challenge and can not be done on the cheap, either in terms of staff numbers or recompense. For example LUL wanted to rip up the drivers’ framework for £5! If they want more work, they must employ more staff – simple.

The next pay talks are on 22nd June - watch this space.


As we go to press, LUL have just refused to agree to re-instate victimised driver Arwyn Thomas, even if the Employment Tribunal finds he was unfairly dismissed. To add insult to injury, they then deliberately try to mislead the public and staff by issuing a press statement saying that they will re-instate him if ordered to do so. They are being two faced – Tribunal re-instatement orders are as rare as a snowflake in hell and they know it. All we are asking is that they treat staff fairly and we will not accept the victimisation of union activists.

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