The issue of Section 15 Possessions and this Friday’s strike was today discussed at Acas. The RMT stated that they was concerned that LUL were turning track access into a death trap and wanted Section 15 Possessions suspended whilst a safe system of work was agreed.
LUL made the following commitment ‘to suspend AP (Maintenance) staff working in Section 15 Possessions from 9th February for two weeks to continue talks. This would not apply to CPD (Project) areas’
The RMT asked six questions:
- How would this be safe for CPD staff if AP staff needed to be withdrawn?
- Who exactly would be working in these possessions?
- Would Maintenance work take priority?
- How would CPD work as Service Control were in dispute too?
- We represent all staff and their health and safety and project staff live’s mattered to?
- Why can’t you just suspend Section 15 and use orthodox means of protection?
Following an adjournment LUL gave the following disappointing replies.
- They felt Section 15 had positive benefits for safety
- They felt CPD staff were more experienced for track access
- That Service Control staff were adequately trained
- Only one work group would work in a CPD Section 15 Possession
- That they did not want to lose the momentum and experience they felt that they was gaining
We considered their answers wholly inadequate. We firmly believe that there have been enough incidents and lack of certainty over the process that someone will be hurt or killed. There is no reason LUL cannot suspend the use of Section 15, which is a process they already admit was flawed and rush in too fast.
The reality is a life of a track worker is not worth risking by a rushed implementation of a process that casualises track access to the level of the keystone cops. Therefore LUL have been informed that the strikes and action short will remain in place and that we will protect our members in all ways possible.
LUL have been told, that this action is not for any gain and is purely regarding Health and Safety and our right to go home safely.
We are returning to ACAS tomorrow