RMT confirms driver strike vote on Piccadilly Line over comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations
TUBE UNION RMT confirmed today that it is to ballot nearly 400 train operators across the Piccadilly Line for both strike action and action short of a strike over a comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations combining a range of issues. The ballot will open on 6th October and close on the 20th October.
The Piccadilly is the fourth busiest line on the London Underground network transporting an average of 600,000 passengers a day and services London’s Heathrow airport – the busiest airport in Europe.
The issues at the heart of the dispute involving the train operators include:
Breaches of the agreed SPAD management processes. Issues of weak brakes on certain rolling stock units have not been taken into account in recent investigations with union members left facing spurious disciplinary procedures because of faulty rolling stock and because the Safety Critical errors procedure has not been fully adhered to.
Breaches of the Machinery of Negotiation
A number of local agreements are repeatedly ignored by a management which is instead intent on imposing unacceptable working practices on members.
Members are targeted as a result of breaches of LUL’s attendance management policies, including the application of an arbitrary capability/rainbow attendance management scheme that is not incorporated into any of LUL’s policies and not written down. This is leading to members who are fit and at work being called into meetings where they are threatened with attendance improvement targets, which if not met may result in their termination of employment from LUL. The whole attendance process is flawed, agreed processes are ignored and requests for machinery meetings to address these issues have been refused.
Discipline at Work
A number of union members are currently subject to spurious disciplinary action, outside of the agreed disciplinary processes. The union is clear that the harsh and unjust treatment of members on the Piccadilly line amounts to a campaign of bullying, harassment and intimidation which is completely unacceptable.
A number of issues regarding the opening of Cockfosters Depot, including the familiarisation process and link & duty schedule issues are the subject of a failure to agree and remain unresolved due to unsatisfactory progress made during negotiations.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“The wholesale abuse of procedures and agreements by management on the Piccadilly Line is rife and amounts to the development of a campaign of bullying, harassment and intimidation that the union will not allow to continue.
“The combined weight of these issues has built up to a comprehensive and fundamental collapse in industrial relations that the company have done nothing to address leaving RMT with no option but to ballot for both strike action and action short of a strike.
“The union remains available for talks.”