Today we had the joint LUL & Tube Lines Company Council attended by the RMT.
Furlough: LUL announced that they are dealing with an unprecedented loss of income, with train journey’s over Easter, lower than at any time for nearly 100 years.
They currently had over 18% of their staff off with Covid related issues along with the normal levels of staff absence.
Therefore they had decided to use the Government Job Retention Scheme, also known as Furlough to add funding.
This scheme states that the Government will fund up to 80% (capped at £2,500) to support companies for a limitted time with staff that have no work currently. This period must last for a minimum of 3 weeks and staff must not be undertake any work for LUL during this period.
NOTE LUL HAVE GUARENTEED TO PAY 100% OF EMPLOYEES WAGES
LUL have stated that they intend to use this scheme starting on the 27th April and would spend next week trying to ascertain which staff that they was currently able to furlough. Examples that was given were those at home but unable to work, those being shielded etc. LUL also stated that they expected this to be mainly non-operational.
They confirmed that this would be on 100% of their pay and their terms and conditions would remain intact.
RMT Regional Organiser, John Leach, insisted that this must be put into writing and that the RMT would not accept anything less than FULL terms and conditions remaining the same and full involvement in the process of discussion who would be furloughed.
LUL confirmed that they had been examining how much and what types of non-essential work that they should stop doing. They stated that they had produced a list of items for each function and they would share with the RMT asap.
Our view remains the same, we will fully support members that are unsure if the tasks that they have been given is either safe or essential to the safe running of the railway. If in doubt, always say no and raise with your reps and managers. Put your health and your safety first as it it better to query and ask why, than risk doing something that is wrong.
LUL reported that station staff would be given face masks from next week to deal with emergency situations and that they was reviewing exactly where else these masks were needed.
The RMT position remains clear:
- If the Mayor is telling passengers to wear masks then passenger facing staff should remain protected.
- PPE is a last resort and LUL agreed that the use of masks was NOT to enable more work to be undertaken
- The principles of social distancing and hand washing remains the most effective way to combat the spread of Covid 19
LUL Pay Deal:
LUL confirmed that this would be paid in July
The RMT have continually demanded that LUL and TfL take ownership of the issues regarding our sub-contractors and self employed staff and pay them.
The RMT today stated that they would work with Management to produce safe working practices to enable the restart of various project works such as in R&E that would enable this workers to be back earning money, but being kept safe by their union.
There is a real danger that these staff with be lost to the Railway and they have been denoted as Key Staff. People such as Protection Masters with Morsons and Cleshars, Track Staff employed by VGC and engineers in Engie etc are all core to the safe running of the Railway and all these core functions need to be done in house.