Category: LUL

RMT blasts TfL for calling on staff in South African variant postcodes to come into work as normal

RMT blasts TfL for calling on staff in South African variant postcodes to come into work as normal
 
RMT has written to TfL Commissioner Andy Byford condemning its guidance that workers in postcodes being targeted for surge testing aimed at bringing the South African variant of Covid19 to heel, should come into work as normal.
 
Last night the Health Secretary Matt Hancock called on people in a series of postcodes across the country, including in London and the East of England, to stay at home and help bring the new South African variant to heel. The same evening, TfL issued guidance to its staff including in those postcodes, stating that if they could not work from home they should come into work as normal.
 
In his letter, RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
 
“Your position, in clear contradiction of the government’s statement, has understandably caused mass dismay and anxiety among London Underground and TfL members and we are dealing with the consequences of that now. You appear to be calling people to come to work who have just been urged by the government to stay at home, putting themselves, their families, communities and work colleagues at risk in the process.
 
“This is totally unacceptable. You need to take back control of this situation rapidly. I am asking that you write to all TfL staff now amending this guidance to reflect the government’s position before this situation escalates any further.” 
 

LUL Circular 29th January

AUTOMATIC TRAIN OPERATION TRAINING, SMA3, DISTRICT LINE – LONDON UNDERGROUND (LUL/11/2)
 
Further to my previous Circular (IR/007/1/21, 8th January 2021), the following resolution was received from Piccadilly & District West Branch:-
 
“This Branch notes that despite the RMT concerns over safety and preparedness, LU management decided to plough ahead with the operational proving weekend on the 9th and 10th January.
 
That weekend did not prove the railways readiness for automatic running or improved the readiness of the train operators for automatic running, it additionally saw numerous breaches of the covid guidance and regulations.
 
Despite this management plan to go “live” on the 6th March 2021!
 
It is unacceptable to our members, that training has not been agreed, that support has not been agreed, and as such, going live should be postponed until all train operators along with signalers and support technicians are fully trained and ready.
 
Our Regional Organiser has written to LU demanding that this project be postponed until such time all training can be carried out safely and to the standard of other similar line projects.
 
This Branch demands that written confirmation that the going live of SMA3 be delayed, in line with this resolution, (until all training and confidence trips are complete in the SMA3 area) if this is not received in a timely fashion, we call on the General Secretary to declare a dispute and ballot all affected members for strike action and action short of strike”.
 
This matter has been considered by the National Executive Committee, which has noted the resolution and is appalled that London Underground ignored the warnings given to them by RMT, our Officer and Reps and went ahead with an SMA3 proving weekend. This exercise was a farce with multiple serious health and safety breaches that our reps have raised with London Underground.
 
In addition to serious operational safety breaches the exercise caused many members to attend work unnecessarily during the Covid pandemic and many breaches of social distancing were observed. These too have been raised by our reps with management.
 
I previously wrote to LUL on 8th January to demand the postponement of non-essential proving work on the SMA3 project and in line with the NEC decision, I have now written to the Company again to advise that a dispute situation exists over its refusal to suspend the roll out of SMA3.
 
I have also arranged to meet with the Lead Officer and Reps, along with the SAGS and NEC regarding this issue and I will of course keep Branches advised of all further developments.
 
Yours sincerely

LUL Circular 3rd November 2020

WORKING CONDITIONS, HAMMERSMITH SERVICE CONTROL CENTRE – LONDON UNDERGROUND – (LUL/14/2)
 
Further to my previous (Circular IR/391/20, 1st  October 2020) and following the recent vote in favour of taking industrial action in this dispute the Lead Officer and Representatives held further dispute resolution talks with LUL but a number of key issues and questions that were raised were not addressed. These included a failure to provide the necessary detail and assurances regarding members’ working conditions and as a result the Lead Officer and Reps had planned to call for Industrial Action.
 
On Saturday 24th October the Lead Officer received correspondence from LUL that point by point answered the demands that RMT had put to them as necessary following the outcome of our earlier dispute meeting. The dispute from the very beginning has been over LUL’s refusal to act and address the varied and serious facility issues and management of Health and Safety at Hammersmith Service Control Centre. Nothing less than LUL’s complete commitment to rectifying these issues would be acceptable and the measures LUL have now agreed to take will be subject to our Representatives’ full consultation and oversight.
 
The outcome we now have, our demands met in full and with the requisite detail and Union oversight, has been achieved through our members’ voice and the mandate they gave in the ballot for Industrial Action. Without members voicing their commitment for the right to a safe and dignified workplace this victory would not have been possible.
 
Our National Executive Committee has met to consider two reports from the Lead Officer. The NEC has congratulated the members involved on their determination to ensure a safe workplace. RMT remains in dispute with LUL and with a mandate for Industrial Action, the NEC have instructed that a meeting is convened of LUL Service Control L2/T2 Reps, NEC and myself in attendance to discuss the progress made in this dispute.
 
I have been instructed to begin the process of engagement offered by LUL to ensure that our demands are met in full and by the dates provided. The Lead Officer will be making the necessary arrangements for this important work to begin and ensure the outcome members want.
 
As I have mentioned above, the position we are in now is down to members and the mandate they gave their Representatives in voting to take Industrial Action. The Representatives will remain engaged in this dispute and in ensuring that LUL meet the commitments they were given so that members at Hammersmith Service Control Centre have the safe and dignified workplace they are entitled to.
 
I trust this keeps you fully advised and I will provide updates on all future developments.
 
REORGANISATION AND JOB CUTS – SODEXO (TFL CONTRACT) (LUL/15/4)
 
Further to my previous Circular (IR/383/20, 24th September 2020), Sodexo has now given formal notice that it will make 30 redundancies out of its total workforce of 108 with the process concluding the week prior to Christmas, while it will also continue with its reorganisation plans.
 
It is a disgraceful way to treat a workforce, some of whom have worked for Sodexo for over 20 years, while the company makes millions of pounds of profits every year. And, despite the best efforts of our RMT representatives and Regional Organiser, Sodexo has refused to even delay the redundancy and reorganisation process to allow for further discussions to take place on the matter.
 
The National Executive Committee has considered this matter again and instructed me to inform Sodexo that an industrial dispute now exists between our organisations, and to commence with a ballot for strike action of Sodexo members.
 
The ballot will commence shortly and I would be grateful for Branches to ensure that all Sodexo members’ details including job title, workplace, home and e-mail address are correct. I will keep Branches advised of all further developments.
 
WORKING TIMETABLE 44/45 (WT44), TRAIN OPERATORS, BAKERLOO LINE
LONDON UNDERGROUND (LUL/14/2)
 
Further to my previous Circular (IR/474/19, 22nd November 2019), the National Executive Committee recently considered an update report from the Lead Officer and noted that these matters are no longer in dispute and were overtaken by the introduction of Covid working. The National Executive Committee also commended our Train Operator members and Reps for their refusal to accept the imposition of WT44/45.
 
DISMISSAL, K. LAWLOR, DRIVER, ARNOS GROVE – LONDON UNDERGROUND (LUL/4/1)
 
Further to my previous Circular (IR/023/20, 15th January 2020), Brother Ken Lawlor has now been reinstated to his substantive role as a Train Operator and this issue is now resolved. The National Executive Committee extends its congratulations to the Lead Officer, our LUL Train Reps and Bro. Lawlor for achieving this outcome.
 
TEMPORARY SALARY REDUCTION, COVID-19 – MACE (TFL CONTRACT) (LUL/9/17)
 
Further to my previous Circular (IR/143/20, 22nd April 2020), the National Executive Committee has considered a report from the Lead Officer that the proposed pay cut from MACE only applied to senior management and does not affect our members.
 
FURLOUGH ARRANGEMENTS, CORONAVIRUS – WILSON JAMES (EAL CABLE CAR SECURITY CONTRACT) – TFL (TFL/14/3)
 
Further to my previous Circular (IR/159/20, 1st May 2020), the National Executive Committee noted a report from the Lead Officer that only one manager was furloughed, and thanked the Lead Officer for his conclusion of this matter.

Political attack on TfL Funding

MT reveals that Londoners are being offered 22 times less funding than private Train Companies in politically motivated attack on TfL
 
 
TRANSPORT UNION RMT has revealed today that Londoners face a bleak future in which the capital’s transport network will be starved of money if the government gets its way.
 
The union’s research exposes the double standards at the heart of transport policy, and has shown that the ‘take it or get taken over’ ‘offer’ made to TfL would mean London getting the equivalent of £1 per passenger journey over the next six months, compared with £22 per passenger journey which is being handed out to the government’s friends in the failing Train Operating Companies.
 
Chiltern Railways, which runs through Boris Johnson’s constituency are set to receive more than £20 per passenger journey, while Transpennine Express, which runs through Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Yorkshire constituency stands to get £36. 
 
Commenting on the revelations, RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
 
“It cannot be right that Londoners are being threated with 22 times less funding per passenger journey than the private train companies.
 
“We welcome the support that’s been given to the rail industry but we have to see the same standards applied to London’s massive transport network.
 
“Instead we’re seeing a politically motivated attack which is starving the capital of transport finding and piling on the pain for ordinary Londoners and small businesses.”

7th September Fight the Cuts Webinar

Dear Colleagues

 

 

A special Zoom meeting has been arranged for 7th September 2020 at 5:00 PM London (London Time) to which you are invited, indeed urged to log into.

 

The necessary information to do so is giving below.

 

 

Essentially, this will be a report back on the campaign concerning proposed cuts and other financial constraints in TfL.

 

 

I trust you will make every effort to attend and look forward to seeing you. Best wishes until then.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

John Leach

REGIONAL ORGANISER

 

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Sep 7, 2020 05:00 PM London
Topic: RMT LU All members meeting – Stronger Together

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83772186040?pwd=WDVmYU5DdW9oK2x0bWpKTGtJaFMwQT09

 

Passcode: 116408

 

Or iPhone one-tap:

US: +13126266799,,83772186040#  or +13462487799,,83772186040#
Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 312 626 6799  or +1 346 248 7799  or +1 646 558 8656  or +1 669 900 9128  or +1 253 215 8782  or +1 301 715 8592
Webinar ID: 837 7218 6040
International numbers available: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kYZrTH3fS

RMT Circular 4th September 2020

INTRODUCTION OF ELECTRONIC PAYSLIPS – LONDON UNDERGROUND (LUL/9/11)

 

Further to my previous Circular (IR/465/19, 15th November 2019), Branches will recall the LTRC submitted a resolution regarding the introduction of electronic payslips by London Underground and members access to their payslips.

 

The National Executive Committee took the decision to take this matter up in line with the contents of the resolution and the Lead Officer has recently provided an update to advise that the matter continues to be discussed at London Underground Company Council. I will keep Branches advised of all further developments.

 

DISCIPLINARY, E. CHRISTIAN, TRAIN OPERATOR, BAKERLOO LINE – LONDON UNDERGROUND (LUL/4/4)

 

Further to my previous Circular (IR/109/20, 18th March 2020), a Director’s Review took place regarding the decision to dismiss Brother Christian and the Lead Officer has advised that our member has now been reinstated although downgraded within LUL.

 

The National Executive Committee congratulates Bro Christian, LUL Trains Reps, the Bakerloo Branch and the Lead Officer for reaching an acceptable outcome for Bro Christian. This outcome once again demonstrates the importance of joining RMT and having the effective representation that membership brings with it.

 

ROP & COS 2020 – ISS (DLR CONTRACT) (LUL/0001/ISS(DLR))

 

The Lead Officer and Reps recently met with ISS to discuss the 2020 pay review and following discussions, the final offer which was received was as follows:-

 

  • All Cleaning Grades have already received the London Living Wage increase of 1.896% from 1st April 2020, this included the PICOW grades. There is no further offer increase proposed for these grades.

 

  • All Security Grades are offered a 1.896% increase, backdated to 1st April 2020.

 

The National Executive Committee then considered this matter, noted the recommendation from the Lead Officer and Reps that the offer is accepted in line with members’ wishes, and took the decision to inform the Company of our acceptance of the offer.

 

I have asked that the increase and backdated monies is paid to Security Grades members at the earliest opportunity.

Yours sincerely,

Covid UPDATE LUL Contracts

COVID-19 related issues

 

Area Comments
Track and Signals Tier 2: General discussions on a full return to work and continued safe practices.

·         Risk Assessments are either done or in process.

·         Looking at sharing best practice around areas.

·         Looking at fire doors being automatically released in the event of a fire (trial being undertaken) so that they can be left open for Covid-19 ventilation.

·         Vehicle access and social isolation being looked at.

·         SOO waivers being investigate as to what has been changed and why no consultation.

·         Still problems on the MET such as petrol payment and issues with annual leave and looking at best practice across all areas. Still very quiet.

·         LUOH RA are poor and needs TU involvement and telling people to return to work asap. Very poor quality health survey

·         Need to look at accommodation for full return of staff to accommodate social distancing.

·         Asked to amend times for start times at Stratford to avoid peak travel (approx. 7am to 9am)

·         Zoono paper reports that it is not effective was raised and denied by LUL. Our view is we see this as part of a safe system of work plus we need a better system for tracking the work done.

·         Vehicle shielding being trialled at Baker Street and details to be shared.

·         Joint meeting with Trains Safety Council to discuss Cab Access.

Signals Incident General discussions on a full return to work and continued safe practices.

·         Work TO scheme agreement ready for sign off by Simon Milburn.

·         DSIMs back at work, need to chase up.

·         Need to get the JNP reps invited to Covid Updates ref SMD.

·         Train Cab access process just being agreed and let train side know what we need for safe access. More help from the train reps would be useful

·         JNP signals still waiting for the return of the risk assessments. DSIMs happy to work closely together and ignore 2m social distancing

·         Stopping of fuel payments

·         Training concerns that there was excessive travel as the managers was not obtaining joining instructions near where people work. Courses to be arranged as best as possible to be near where staff are living.

Track Projects Move back to full restart however now lack of management consultation on issues. This is being dealt with.

Looking at workshop return.

Furloughed staff to all be returned by September. 4 staff flagged as RED

LUBE returning to a 23:00 start and can socially distance.

Track Workshops to return 5 days a week due to increase in work

LUL Track Not all staff did reduced days and some areas now struggling to complete all work

 

Running smoothly and not being asked to move to a full return.

Bloo ‘Q’ Grades looking to be returned for 5 days.

 

Meeting took place with D Weir stated it was contractual and the workplace safe (Perspex etc). We have requested the risk assessments for those grades.

R&E/ TLL & Stations Little happening and no change

 

·         Vast majority of staff furloughed with no sign of any return to station upgrade work being restarted

 

Stations & Civils General discussions on a full return to work and continued safe practices. COVID bolt on to define essential and non-essential work. Certain works now going ahead and have the support of local managers in going forward.

Awaiting for management to agree new COMMs roster, slow progress

 

TAC Portal was implemented without discussions and looks like it is to stay and aimed at doing away with  team leaders. Still to be discussed with the RMT. No training and woolly instructions on NEPA. Zero communications with the senior management, only via bulletins. Issue was challenged and was told this was to deal with COVID however, this has been expanded now to also include exclusion areas etc. End users also need to pursue this issue. 7 ON and 7 OFF system working well as is the back up location and will continue for another few months. T&S Tier 2 and Safety Forum has had the issue on its agenda and that the RO and Staff side sec will chase them up.
Apprentices Will all be given jobs and will be given the opportunity to complete the apprenticeship. Some retention issues in R&E being resolved. Apprenticeship being extended through to next April to complete the apprenticeship.

 

Concerns regarding the safe return of apprentices into the work place. Talks meant to be occurring at local level. Issue of MET line being dealt with and already raised. Rep has approached both the MET Signals and the Apprentice unit. Talks have occurred on the District Signals.

TLL Signals General discussions on a full return to work and continued safe practices. Issues with BAME risk assessments and Works TOs in incident. No significant change. Bi-weekly meetings with S Milburn. No push to reopen depots but still maintaining single cover. Issue of so called guidance released at Signal Works dealt with and explained not for the present date and was guidance for the start of the covid crisis for potential ideas on safe working.

Also issues with social working at most depots and especially certain depots which has led to an eIRF and refusal to work being lodged. Staff not distancing and wearing masks. Management refusing to do leadership and take control of the situation. Issues at SMD regarding the above and lack of union representation. Inspection being undertaken tonight. Simon Milburn to put out company guidance against complacency.

Still issues getting wall mounted hand sanitisers at all locations. Need to show that other staff are attending to get it installed (via Risk Assessment). Need to collate best practice.

Tampers and ETOs Returned to normal from the 24th August 2020.
TLL Escalator Maintenance Work returned to normal. Face fitted masks etc
 
Annual Leave LUL company policy still refusing to the carryover of up to 20 days leave.

 

‘The carry over arrangements announced by Government recently, state that employees may carry forward up to four weeks’ holiday where it is not reasonably practicable for them to take it in the annual leave year due to effects of COVID-19. This does not mean that there is an automatic entitlement to carry forward 20 days’ leave (or some other amount of leave of the employee’s choosing).

 

The Government guidance sets out the relevant factors which should be taken into account when determining whether or not it is reasonably practicable for leave to be taken in the current leave year. These reasons focus on where there is such pressure/demand within the business requiring employees to work that it is not possible for leave to be taken by those employees. It is envisaged in such cases that the employer would tell the employees that they cannot take their leave.’

 

Covid Risk Assessments Incident and District Line completed. General depot one have been done.

 

All Risk Assessments need to be checked for new staff returning that was shielding. Talked about a phased return to work. Concerns that staff are only deemed vulnerable if over 70%. People should really not be at work if vulnerable. Needs to look at how we approach this issue. First question needs to be that LUOH have not done their job properly and we will review and put something out ourselves. Important to be aware that despite restrictions being lifted for shielding does not mean that people have had their restrictions lifted.

LUOH not taking into account how people have to travel to work which could potentially mean that they are vulnerable.

 

LUL BAME Risk Assessments People need to aware that these should be carried out and that the use of central communications was not appropriate and that we need to move to a more local approach. The onus should be away from the individuals and the RMT had major concerns regarding how LUL was looking into this issue. LUL are calling an emergency meeting however, it was a waste of time. Rep has sent out documents but their starting point risk assessment was for White Finger Vibration issue which was disgusting.

Lack of awareness in some areas and being pursued at higher levels.

Glasses Concerns that glasses were misting up with the face masks. LUL is looking special products that can be used.

 

Some demisting solution has been trialled but unsuccessful

Minimum Numbers in the Van Concerns ref minimum numbers and the need to maintaining 2m distance. Company have issued new guidance ref Tier 2 and we are rejecting this out of order.
Training restart Looking at phasing course start times, all agreed but joining instructions not updated
Thermal Monitoring of staff Should not be to do away with other protections and at the start and not in place of PPE. If high temp then staff go home. Need to progress pay for non-permanent staff. Branch position generally in favour.
LUL BAME Risk Assessments Meetings No further meetings and LUL attitude is disgusting. They have done nothing.

 

Only 1 meeting occurred and then nothing. Action: chase J Leach

Local Lock Downs Bro Jackson raised the issue of local lock downs such as Leicester and whether there is any discussions or planning.

 

Not a great response from LUL and no plan in place. No real guidance has been forthcoming. No firm commitment.

Ventilation Issue with air recycled systems and where it is dispelled. It is felt most depots are probably ok but our reps need to raise during their risk assessments.
 
Balfour Beatty More staff unfurloughed and redeployment.

Looking at restart and job moves. Wish to use thermal camera as above.

Cubic Concerns that RA’s aren’t available
Self Employed/ Protection Very hard times. LUL changing protection arrangement hours and very little work. Issue raised with LUL and they stated that they would not implement. This has not been implemented.

 

Hardship Fund now over £5000.

 

·         Look at ways of communication actioned.

·

 
Branch Exec Produce PPE Guidelines, work in progress
  Obtain Face Masks
   
 

RMT responds to Government and Rail Delivery Group on face masks this morning

“There is a real danger that the Government and the Rail Delivery Group are sending out a signal that as long as you cover your face you are safe to ‎head back onto the tubes and trains regardless of whether you are an essential worker making an essential journey. That risks a surge in passengers as we saw last weekend with the principles of social distancing blown apart with huge risks to staff and passengers alike.
 
“It’s also clear that the Government and industry bosses are expecting our members to police this policy. That will put over-stretched rail workers right in the front line once again and will leave them at risk of being abused, assaulted and spat at by aggressive passengers refusing to comply. This policy must be properly risk assessed with staff fully protected.
 
“If this policy had been introduced sooner and the principle of covering your face established earlier some of these risks our members now face could have been avoided. The Government need to get a grip rather than winging it with these important policy announcements.”
 

MT calls on Mayor and the Government to stop the blame game and help the Underground’s heroic cleaners

MT calls on Mayor and the Government to stop the blame game and help the Underground’s heroic cleaners
RMT today called on the Mayor and the government to stop pointing the finger at each other and put their money where their mouths are by helping the heroic cleaners who have fought to keep the Underground safe since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the capital.
The union had asked the Mayor to intervene to grant the cleaners free travel on the Underground during a crisis in which they are literally putting their lives on the line every day. This would bring them in line with TfL employees, London Assembly members, the Metropolitan Police, police in the surrounding counties, special constables and service men and women in uniform who can all travel across the TfL network without charge.
On 27 May, Sadiq replied that he was unable to do so as “Government is now seeking to exercise oversight of many of the financial decisions that TfL is making and the deal we have struck contains a number of Government imposed conditions. In this context, I regret, I do not feel able to override TfL’s decision on this matter.”
Yet the union pointed out that both Boris Johnson, during his time as Mayor, and his successor Sadiq Khan are on record as saying that the costs of providing free travel are virtually nil.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said,
“Boris Johnson and Sadiq Khan are both on the record praising the amazing work that cleaners are doing throughout this crisis, yet when it comes to actually doing a little thing to help them, they indulge in a political blame game at the expense of the people who go down into the Tube every day and night, putting their lives on the line to keep Londoners safe.
“Boris and Sadiq both know it would cost virtually nothing to give these cleaners free travel. This is politics at the expense of people. I think it’s a disgrace and I bet most Londoners would agree.”

Tube union RMT responds to news night tube will remain suspended until next spring

Tube union RMT responds to news night tube will remain suspended until next spring
Responding to news that the night tube will be suspended until Spring 2021 RMT general secretary Mick Cash said:
“The confirmation that there will be no night tube until March next year is a reminder of how fragile the situation is across London’s transport services as we slowly emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown.
“It is also a reminder of why TFL will need continued Government support without strings to protect the services that will be crucial to our recovery from this emergency.
“RMT has made it clear that we will take whatever action is required to protect the jobs and conditions of the staff who have kept essential workers moving throughout this crisis. There must be no return to cuts and austerity.”

RMT warns of LUL strike action

RMT warns of strike action if necessary to fight London Transport Austerity imposed by government
 
Responding to the government announcement today that it is imposing austerity cuts and direct control over transport in London as part of its conditions for funding as a result of the Covid-19 crisis RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said,
 
“London Transport workers have been vital to fighting Covid-19 and any attacks on their pay, jobs and conditions arising from this imposed settlement will be a complete betrayal.
 
“We will be seeking an urgent meeting with both the Mayor and Secretary of State for Transport to make clear London Transport workers will not pay the cost of the crisis.
 
“It looks like Boris Johnson is back in charge of transport in London. We will not accept one penny of austerity cuts imposed by Whitehall or passed on by City Hall as part of this funding package and our resistance will include strike action if necessary.
 
“We are  also deeply concerned that this is a sign of wider austerity conditions to be imposed on the transport industry across the UK”
 

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