RMT Circular 14th April 2016

April 14, 2016

OFFICIAL CIRCULAR

TO ALL BRANCHES AND REPRESENTATIVES

ALL UNDERGROUND AND FORMER LT EMPLOYERS

 14th April 2016                                                                   Circular No: IR/111/16

 

Dear Colleagues,

CLOSURE OF LILLIE BRIDGE DEPOT – LONDON UNDERGROUND (LUL/15/1)

As Branches and members may recall (Circular No. IR/584/13, 7th October 2013), agreement was reached to resolve the previous dispute with London Underground in 2013 over the proposed closure of Lillie Bridge Depot. However, it now seems that this agreement has been breached and I have recently received the following resolution from our LU Engineering Branch:-

“Ballot of all RMT members in Lillie Bridge Depot and those affected. Lillie Bridge Depot Closure and Breach of LU Company Council Agreement.

 Talks at LU Company Council aimed at averting a dispute were successful and ended in an agreement that the Beaumont Ave end of the depot would be opened up to allow works traffic in and out during the Lillie Rd development, and that LU/TfL would consult the RMT in good time as and when the TfL/Capco development plans progressed to affect the depot again.

 Beginning this year notice has been given to our departments Track Delivery Unit, Maintenance Infrastructure Services, Track Manufacturing Department, Material Management Department (Stores), Transplant, Fleet Maintenance, District Line Trains and Plant Services at Lillie Bridge Depot that we are required to vacate the depot by 2019.

 The timescales are very tight: 

  • The Feasibility Study for the move to Acton Depot has to be done by May 2016 (1 month) the concept approval for what happens to all of us based in the depot is due to be completed in June 2016 (2 months).
  • We have had little only one consultation meeting despite raising the urgency of the situation at both the last LU Track & Signal Functional Council and LU Company Council, and no real progress has been made.
  • At this consultation meeting on 8th March 2016; it was agreed to hold a further consultation meeting before Easter 2016. This has not happened and my reminders to LU in the intervening period were first ignored and then the consultation meeting refused despite my advice this would lead to a failure to agree.

 

RMT Reps and members and this Branch will not be satisfied until we have:

 

  1. An agreement signed off at the highest LU/TfL level setting out an acceptable location for us all to move to.
  2. An agreement signed off at the highest LU/TfL level that all the finances needed to fund the move plus any building etc at the new location is agreed to be made available.

 

We request a meeting of all Reps from all areas and companies with affected staff to decide whether to ballot in their areas too.

 Because LU are breaching the previous LU Company Council agreement to consult adequately in good time; and due to the extremely tight timescales we are now in dispute.

 RMT LU Engineering Branch requires a ballot for both strike action and action short of a strike of all affected RMT members and members in TDU, MIS, TMD, MM, District Line Trains and Fleet, Plant Services (Tube Lines Ltd).

 The livelihood and continued work of all affected RMT members is under a most severe threat due to London Mayor Boris Johnson’s wish to wrap up the Capco/TfL luxury housing development deal for the super-rich between Earl’s Court, West Kensington and West Brompton ahead of the Mayoral election at the expense of local tenants, residents and the jobs of our RMT members affected by the accompanying demolition of Lillie Bridge Depot.

 The RMT has spent years successfully defending our members at Lillie Bridge Depot which is one of, if not the most solid RMT depot on London Underground.

 We will resist this blatant attack with all forms of action necessary”.

 

This matter has been considered by the National Executive Committee, which has taken the decision to prepare a ballot matrix for all affected RMT members and organise an all grades Reps meeting to discuss the implications of this attack on our members’ terms and conditions and future job prospects. Also, to provide and fund the necessary leaflets and propaganda and to link up with the local community campaign against the redevelopments in the Earl’s Court, West Kensington and West Brompton areas of West London.

 

I am currently acting in accordance with this decision and will keep you advised of all further developments.

 

BREAKDOWN IN INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, TRAIN OPERATORS, PICCADILLY LINE – LONDON UNDERGROUND (LUL/14/2)

 

Further to my previous Circular (IR/073/16, 17th March 2016), members took part in solidly supported strike action on Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th March which closed down the Piccadilly Line. However, management took the aggressive stance of threatening our members that they would lose wages if they refused to book on at Oakwood Depot and the National Executive Committee took the decision to rescind this instruction.

Since then, LU agreed to meet at ACAS and constructive discussions with LUL Directors took place on Friday 8th April. These talks led to an offer of a review of industrial relations on the Piccadilly Line to be led by an ACAS nominated representative on the basis that it will lead to a binding dispute resolution agreement. The Company has also agreed to ‘stay’ the disciplinary procedures against members over booking on at Oakwood and hold a Director’s review over Sister O’Loughlin.

The above represents good progress from management over these issues and the Lead Officer has recommended that the strike action due to take place from Tuesday 19th April is pushed back to allow more time to hopefully come to a firm dispute resolution agreement.

This matter has been considered by the National Executive Committee, which has noted the reports on file and taken the decision to cancel the planned strike action between Tuesday 19th and Friday 22nd April 2016. Instead, affected members are now instructed NOT TO BOOK ON for any shifts that commence between:-

  • 12:00 hours on Tuesday 26th April 2016 and 11:59 hours on Wednesday 27th April 2016. 
  • 12:00 hours on Thursday 28th April 2016 and 11:59 hours on Friday 29th April 2016.

 

I will keep you advised of all further developments.

 

CHANGES TO CLEANING OPERATIONS – INTERSERVE FACILITIES (KEOLIS AMEY DOCKLANDS CONTRACT) (DLR/15/4)

 

Further to my previous Circular (IR/073/16, 17th March 2016), the ballot has concluded with members voting as follows:-

 

Question: Are you prepared to take strike action?

 

Total Votes Cast                34

Number Voting ‘Yes’           33

Number Voting ‘No’            1

Spoilt Papers                     0

 

Question: Are you prepared to take industrial action short of a strike?

 

Total Votes Cast                34

Number Voting ‘Yes’           30

Number Voting ‘No’            1

Spoilt Papers                     3

 

This matter has been considered by the National Executive Committee and referred to the Southern Sub-Committee for further examination and report. I will keep Branches advised of all further developments.

 

BREACH OF CORE WORK AGREEMENT, CONTRACTING OUT AND USE OF SECONDARY CONTRACTORS – FLEET GRADES – LUL (LUL/13/1)

 

The Lead Officer has recently advised that our Fleet Reps have registered a failure to agree on two issues; S-Stock Shoe Gear Replacement and Breaches of the Core Work Agreement.

 

An agreement was reached for a trial where BTUK controlled inspections on S-Stock Shoe Gear but, if the trial had not resolved the issue of shoe gear not lasting up to the 25k maintenance target by the beginning of April, this job would come under Fleet duties and extra staff would be added accordingly. Last week, management made it known that they would not honour this agreement.

 

LUL management has also stated that the airbag replacement programme on the S-Stock is a warranty issue and as such BTUK would be carrying out this work which involves stripping the train bogies to get to this piece of equipment and they are employing contractors JMac to do this. RMT stated that whilst we could accept them changing out the airbags, the lifting and lowering of the bogies and stripping them out is Fleet work and as such, LUL Fleet staff should be doing this. Management rejected this position and also stated that any warranty work will be done by BTUK. This could cover any aspect of work on the train and is therefore in conflict with our Fleet Core Work Agreement. Furthermore, it brings in more agency staff through the back door.

 

This matter has been considered by the National Executive Committee, which has noted the correspondence on file and that there is a major attack on our Fleet Core Work Agreement and taken the decision to prepare a ballot matrix of all affected RMT members so that we can prepare for industrial action in defence of our agreements. Also, to organise an all grades Reps meeting and to provide the necessary leaflets and propaganda material.

 

I am currently acting in accordance with this decision and will keep you advised of all further developments.

 

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash

General Secretary

 

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