WRONG SIDE DOORS - Another driver pays the price for company’s unsafe system

Carl Campbell is the latest Victoria Line driver to pay the ultimate price for the lack of investment by Victoria Line management in Correct Side Door Enable equipment (CSDE), enjoyed by drivers on all other London Underground lines. In fact, Carl paid the price despite the fact that the panel at his Company Disciplinary Interview accepted the video evidence that the pilot light could have only “flickered” off and on and that the doors could not have been open in any reasonable interpretation of the word. The fact is that management did not like Carl and certain managers in particular gave him a hard time causing him to become stressed and uneasy at work and more likely to make mistakes. All this was ignored by management who seem to think the way to prevent wrong side door operations is to sack the drivers rather than manage the risk, even when in Carl’s case there was no risk! This high-handed and arrogant approach goes right to the top. When local reps demanded an urgent meeting to discuss their concerns, they were ignored; one senior manager on the Victoria line even accused them of a “knee jerk reaction”! Well the only knee jerk reaction appears to be management sacking drivers! Some reaction considering there has been an increase in wrong side door operations of 167% over the last 12 months! At a recent ‘Value – spend our money and talk – for time’, Victoria Line drivers and station staff put the question to senior managers as to why there is no CSDE on Victoria Line trains. The answer was the same as five years ago – new stock, no fatality. To managers, drivers getting the sack does not count as fatal!

The union will not rest until management provide a safe system for door operation and nor will it rest until management give Carl his job back. At the time of writing, a joint union meeting including RMT and ASLEF members at the depot was planned for Monday 2nd March to discuss, amongst other matters, Carl’s situation. The matter is also due to be discussed at the branch meeting on 5th March where all options up to and including industrial action in support of Carl Campbell will be considered.