Piccadilly & District West branch organisation report 2009

organiseThe Regional Council Secretary wrote to all branches, asking for their assessment of their branch’s work during 2009, and suggesting that they might address the following points:
- whether your membership grew or shrunk during 2009, and why you think this is
- any problems you have had filling reps’ positions within the branch’s area
- how effective your branch was during any industrial action in your area last year
- what recruitment activities you have organised
- any comments on how the union, either nationally or regionally, has helped (or not helped!)
- ideas for future improvements


Piccadilly & District West branch report

We have spent more on maintaining current branch membership than ever before, we do our own recruitment on branch days and within that this year we have been talking to the members about the disputes we have been involved in it was a very long year.

Industrial action has taken a heavy toll on all, we have had more literature than ever on what is happening but that said I believe we have a forgotten generation who do not see striking as a way of negotiation (cannot say who's fault but without doubt the Thatcher years are now paying dividends for employers due to apathy and the fact most people now their own homes or at least have mortgages and are afraid of losing them)

On the plus side we are at least raising awareness of what can be done but again the down side of that is that more and more members are asking for phone numbers and email addresses to be withdrawn from the RMT membership site due to the saturation of texts and messages on disputes.

On LUL I firmly believe we now need to get a united workforce to tackle management, but I cannot see Aslef or TSSA members swapping unions so we will need to unite with them in some way (that was as difficult to type as say, as I really do despise the other unions) perhaps a very visible campaign of offering an olive branch to them in unity to fight management and management practises so their membership can see and if they do not grab the olive branch we should continue to offer it so we show every body involved we will work towards getting the best for the workers?

We have had no problem recruiting reps far from it we have had up to 6 vying for one position, what we do have problems with is reps being sacked, this year Kingsley Omole and Tony Crump both thorns in the side of management have been sacked for incidents which normally would not lead to sackings especially in the case of Kingsley were dates were moved to suit the charge, so no recruitment not a problem.

Over all the year went well again that said our timing for ballots does need looking at, the ballot prior to Christmas was in my view very poor judgement, as we cannot really expect our members to put a cross on a piece of paper that may reduce the money some desperately need at one of the most expensive times of year, we also again in my view tried to jump the gun and exposed our hand to management we presented them a wish list and tried to control the situation with regards to our pay increase, management then took control and we did not come out of this looking to good.

We must not put ourselves in a position again were we expose our hand too soon, every one already believes whether rightly or wrongly that we run straight to the ballot box, we need to improve this image and we also need to improve and expose how we save jobs, which the other unions obviously do not. Thanks for the chance to moan and hopefully get some views across.

On industrial action the Piccadilly line ran nine trains across two days, with over 500 shifts to cover per day. This was nothing short of miraculous and a testimony to the people who work on the Piccadilly line and the picket lines this is something I am particularly proud of the stations were equally well supported, but we must get the other unions on board if we are to make serious inroads against management.