LU management have imposed a new rule, section 15 possession protection, which removes the requirement to book out with the Track Access Controller and allows the Service Controller to implement protection in a planned possession in engineering hours.
Although management state that consultation was completed with the trade unions, this is untrue. Consultation of any sort only happened when your RMT Track & Signals H&S representatives forced management to get round the table.
Consultation had not been exhausted and management reneged on the Terms of Reference which had jointly been agreed between the RMT and management. A review of the so called “trials” was still in discussion, when management went and stopped any further review workshops.
The RMT believes these so called “trials” were a farce, which did not even meet the success criteria laid out in the DRACCT documentation. Possession plans were inaccurate, the risk assessment was “historical” and not updated, and many safety incidents were reported within these “trials”. Even a basic request from the RMT reps, to see evidence of staff working within the trial sites were correctly certificated, could not be adequately supplied by management.
Contradictions run throughout this procedure. We believe this will add confusion and lead to serious safety breaches. Longstanding principles of avoiding staff carrying out unrelated activities when engineers trains/mechanised vehicles are working, are ripped up! One example,train movements between worksites and possessions, will happen if so called “planned”. How this will be controlled on the ground is kept vague.
The RMT are constantly calling for management to get back round the table (via the unfinished workshops and then to a joint safety forum), so that we can find a safer solution. Management have refused our requests up to now and we are left with no other option but to prepare to ballot, for action short of strike, all LU and JNP members who work on or about the track.
UNITY IS STRENGTH!
SAFETY BEFORE PROFIT!