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RMT London Calling Newsletter March 2013 Edition

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Mike Brown Confirms LU to attack Stations Jobs

On February 18th Our General Secretary Bob Crow met with Mike Brown to discuss the future of Jobs on the combine. LU are pressing ahead with plans to remove night-turn supervisors and gave no assurances about the grade of staff left to run the stations through the traffic day.

We must insist that 24 hour coverage of our stations by supervisors is maintained to guarantee’ safety and
that correct procedures are followed by companies in Engineering hours.

We must also defend the role of supervisor in order to maintain a promotion path for members who want to go for supervisor positions in the future. The MF grade is already disappearing and we must defend better paid positions for the future of the job.

We must also resist the fait accompli that is being put forward to justify the closure of remaining ticket offices. The public want to see fully staffed ticket offices and we must argue against any further cutback in the number of offices and for an increase in opening hours for the existing offices.

The threat of Driverless trains has not been withdrawn and again we must resist any attempt to introduce or carry out tests for driverless trains. Any reduction in the number of drivers needed is also a loss of valuable, better paid, jobs for the future. Cross line working for drivers must also be resisted

We are not opposed to change, but believe there is an argument for more staff on the Underground to meet the ever increasing number of passengers who use the network, now in excess of 4M journeys a day. We were praised for our knowledge and professionalism during the Olympics and the Underground is regularly voted the best network in the World. The people who use the tube praise our work.

The 150 year history of the Underground is a monument to the work of those who built the tunnels and the stations, some of whom died, those who have driven the trains, staffed the stations, carried out engineering, cleaned the stations and carried out the thousands of small jobs that have kept the network running, during wars, terrorist attacks and fires and disasters.
The Underground should reward and celebrate our workforce instead of attacking our conditions. Those at the top receive bumper wages, but they ride on the backs of the hundred of staff that work long unsocial hours to keep the service running. When our highly paid executives are tucked up in bed, we are still busy working through the night.

John Reid, LTRC Secretary

Bakerloo Detrainment Dispute Continues

Bakerloo line drivers in RMT and in Aslef are going back and tipping out trains to ensure the safety of themselves and their passengers. This action was called by the union as a result of over 3000 over-carries last year culminating in the near fatality of a 12 year old boy.

The drivers’ action has been rock solid and has hit London Underground hard. Since the start of the dispute, while tube bosses claim a good service or minor delays due to “operational issues”, LU have had to cancel over 15% of the service. Our drivers unity and resolve to win a safe detrainment system has been fantastic. We now ask for your support and solidarity. RMT has set up an email campaign to hit the inboxes of the Mayor and LU bosses.

Go to www.labourstartcampaigns.net/_campaign.cgi?c=1738 to sign our on-line petition.

Still Seeking Justice for the 33

It is disingenuous of London Underground to suggest that the assessments our 33 members were expected to take part in were fair and above board.
It is a farce that these applicants are made to perform circus tricks and jump through hoops by attending assessments when they have been doing CSA/MF & Supervisor jobs for years.

In spite of indications given to RMT at several levels, most of the former Trainpeople staff have been failed at the role-play stage. It brings into question the legitimacy of the workshop when such a small selection have been successful compared to external counter-parts.

Those that somehow slipped through the screening process and went through to the interview stage have been told they face a further 10 days before finding out if they are successful in getting their job back.
Trainpeople members are saying: “We have been used, abused and refused. We have now been re-abused. We will not be ignored & we will not go away until we get Justice for the 33”.

An online petition, with signatories now standing at over 3300, has been launched to support the 33, please support this at www.labourstartcampaigns.net/show_campaign.cgi?c=1738

The feeling amongst the 33 RMT members is that they were never going to be given a fair crack of the whip on these assessments. What they saw with their own eyes certainly never gave them any confidence they were being treated fairly. They are also concerned that, on Tuesday, all black and ethnic applicants at the assessment centre were informed that they had failed. Meanwhile, a white applicant who was also initially informed that he had failed, later received a phone call on his way home, advising him that the centre had made a mistake and was now allowing him through. RMT is concerned about the lack of credibility of this whole process.

Justice For Cleaners

ISS is seeking to make changes to cleaners’ terms & conditions as tube lines have been given the contract for another six years. The changes include:

  • Introduction of biometric finger scanners to book staff on. We say this can be open to abuses from the managers and will have an effect on the station supervisors and other grades as it will help to facilitate remote booking on without the presence of LU staff.
  • New sickness procedure (called the Brad-ford factor) that will have staff coming in when they are in no state to work as they will be scared to call in sick with the fear of getting points against them (17 gets you the sack)
  • Changes to staff’s hours of work resulting in less paid hours.
  • Abolition of printed pay-slips. ISS staff will only be able to check their pay on-line.

Some cleaners have been told to go out and buy their own PPE. ISS cleaners should be provided with 3 t shirts, 3 trousers, 1 fleece & 1 foul weather coat plus 1 pair of safety footwear. It is totally unacceptable that some staff have to buy their own stuff.

RMT will fight against unfair changes in working conditions and continues to recruit ISS cleaners into the union.