Category Archives: Transport

From We Own It: Branson’s BIG BAILOUT Thursday 18th JANUARY

8am, Thursday 18th January – online and at Kings Cross station

Virgin Trains East Coast is getting a bailout of up to £2 billion from Chris Grayling, at our expense.

We want to show how ridiculous it is that the public is paying for Virgin and Stagecoach’s mistakes, so we’re holding a ‘fundraiser’ for Richard Branson. Next Thursday morning, let’s make some noise. If we all join together we can build pressure on Chris Grayling to stop the bailout.

1) Join in online

a) Share our facebook event to spread the word to your friends. If you’re not on facebook, share this page by email.

b) If you’re on twitter, sign up for our twitter flashmob(This works by signing up as many people as possible to tweet the same message at exactly the same time – 8am next Thursday. By tweeting hundreds of the same message at the same time we might get our message to trend on twitter. You just have to give it permission to send this tweet, and then forget about it.)

c) And of course, if you haven’t already, sign our petition to Chris Grayling: Stop the bailout of East Coast and bring it into public ownership!

2) Join us at Kings Cross station in London

Join us at 8am on Thursday 18th outside Kings Cross. We’ll supply the buckets and placards! Sign up on facebook or email info@weownit.org.uk to let us know you’re joining. Remember to wrap up warm and wear something red if possible!

From Freedom News: Hundreds refuse to cross picket line in wildcat Crossrail strike

More than 200 workers at the flagship rail construction project have downed tools today in solidarity with more colleagues who have been sacked and locked out.

The dispute blew up after Balfour Beatty made 54 workers redundant at short notice yesterday and a further 50 were locked out, allegedly at the behest of blacklisting-linked boss Gerry Harvey.

The job cuts came just days after electricians at their Woolwich Station in London had filed for an industrial action ballot over pay and finishing bonuses via union Unite. There had also been complaints over the list of who was to be canned, with long-term workers and shop stewards made redundant while new workers were retained.

Around 150 electricians walked out in solidarity today at Woolwich, with more than 70 joining them from sites at Plumstead, City Airport and North Woolwich, according to construction industry and anti-blacklisting activist Dave Smith.

Talking to union-news.co.uk Smith said: “We are told blacklisting is a thing of the past but today’s anti-union hostility is plain for everyone to see.”

Balfour has said the redundancies were part of standard operations, saying “we have always been clear that our works would start to wind down towards the end of this year” and that consultation had started in November.

Site sources explained however that problems with pay rates had been bubbling since the summer and Balfour’s refusal to engage properly with requests for a completion bonus as work begins to wind down has left “feelings running pretty high.”

Industry reports suggest that bosses are keeping a “close eye” on the situation as they fear calls for finishing bonuses could spread to other sites.

Update: A mass solidarity picket has been called for Thursday December 14th, 6.30am at the Whitechapel station site.

Defend the Right to Picket Demo – Saturday 25th November 2pm Brighton Station

As you will be aware the RMT are in a long running dispute with Southern Rail about the removal of guards from trains.

The RMT had previously been running effective pickets at the back of Brighton station that many drivers were refusing to cross. To try to stop this Southern have threatened strong legal action under the anti-union laws to move the pickets well away from the station.

Please head down to the station on Saturday at 2pm to show your support for having guards on our trains and for the right for union members to picket their own workplace without fear of victimisation.

Please do what you can to support and publicise this. Please can you bring banners flags etc!!!

Network Rail plans to sell off assets

Responding to the news today (17 Nov) that Network Rail and the government are proposing to sell off their Commercial Estate business.

Said TSSA leader, Manuel Cortes:

“Selling off our national assets is always a dubious economic good. But selling off railway arches really is a sign the Tories don’t get how to run a railway or an economy.

“The spaces between our railway arches are not fattened pigs to be sold at market as the Tories seem to think.. To Network Rail those spaces in between spin the revenues by which they earn money to subsidise the public cost of maintaining railway infrastructure – including the arches. Every pound generated from letting railway arches is a pound saved for U.K. taxpayers.

“We are seeking assurances from NR that the maintenance and repair of the arches will not be compromised. It does not seem sensible to TSSA that the very ground that our railway runs on is sold from beneath the wheels. Who will now pay for essential repairs when they are required? How and who will now guarantee the safety of the infrastructure?

“If this crazy sale goes ahead we hope that the new landlords do not rack rents causing misery to the many small businesses that currently let the arches.”

TSSA will do all we can to oppose the privatisation of NR assets. Should the government get their way, we will fight to ensure TUPE protection for the terms and conditions of our members forced into the private sector. Staff must not pay the bill for the governments reckless short sightedness

From RMT: Oppose Driver Only Trains: Respond to the government Draft Accessibility Action Plan consultation

Oppose Driver Only Trains: Respond to the government Draft Accessibility Action Plan consultation by 15th November 2017

The draft action plan sets out the Government’s proposed strategy to address the gaps in existing provision of transport services. Rail Minister Paul Maynard says in the foreword: “People with disabilities have the same right to travel independently as anyone else” and goes on to say he is committed to “delivering a transport system that works for all”.

But he is the one who is pushing through the plans to make trains in England Driver Only Operated (DOO).

The House of Commons Transport Select Committee report ‘Improving the Rail Passenger Experience’ in October 2016 has already said “We are concerned that no official impact assessment has been made of the potential effects of DOO on disabled people’s access to the railway.” Now is the time for passengers to have their say.

 

This is why your support is vital:

“Under Driver Only Operation passengers would face greater requirements to book in advance, possibly facing additional travel restrictions, which would represent a move away from the current goal of making the railway more accessible for all.” – Rail Safety Standards Board (RSSB) report ‘Evaluating technological solutions to support driver only operation train dispatch’ March 2015.

“It is Conductors who are best placed to ensure that assistance is delivered effectively and in accordance with the law. In the event of an emergency Conductors can also deliver the railway’s duty of care to assisted passengers and other older and disabled people….There should always be on-board staff available to assist passengers at unstaffed stations.” Supressed report for the Rail Delivery Group, On Track for 2020? The Future of Accessible Rail Travel 2015 (only released in August 2017 after leaked to press).

“We are concerned that no official impact assessment has been made of the potential effects of DOO on disabled people’s access to the railway.” The House of Commons Transport Select Committee Improving the Rail Passenger Experience, October 2016.

 

What you can do today to help

Please Email AAPConsultation@dft.gsi.gov.uk today and let the government know how you feel as an individual.

The Government site is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/draft-transport-accessibility-action-plan

RMT have a link to the response here http://bit.ly/dooaccess

You can also use your own words or you can adapt the wording below (copy and paste and send to AAPConsultation@dft.gsi.gov.uk

“I am pleased you recognise that one in every five people in the United Kingdom has some form of disability or access requirement. However if you are determined they should be able to use the transport system and particularly trains, with confidence and ease then you should not be introducing Driver Only Operation.

I believe if the transport system is genuinely going to be ‘open to everyone’ then for people with physical and hidden disabilities to have the same access to transport, and opportunities to travel the same as everyone else, there must be a guarantee of more than just a driver on the train.

Safe systems with trained staff have to be put in place to ensure that passengers requiring assistance are not excluded. It is difficult to see how trains with no staff to provide assistance running through unstaffed stations cannot come under the heading of a “provision, criterion or practice” that discriminates as defined by section 20 of the Equality

Act 2010.

Every passenger needs the assurance that the journey will be fully accessible and that the experience will be safe and secure, with trained assistance available, if and when it is needed.”

To Transport for London: Keep Uber’s drivers and passengers safe

Sign petition here.

Last year GMB won a landmark employment tribunal against Uber, which ruled that its drivers were not self-employed contractors but employed workers – and were therefore entitled to the national minimum wage, sickness and holiday pay.

This important case has major implications for more than 30,000 drivers across England and Wales. Many of our drivers are working long hours for less than national minimum wage in order to try and make ends meet. Drivers working excessive hours is bad for drivers, bad for passengers and bad for Londoners.

Uber refuses to accept they’re an employer and has appealed. That means they still refuse to pay their drivers a living wage, give paid rest breaks or abide by laws that limit the number of hours they work. It’s wrong for Uber not to live up to its responsibilities, and none of us wants worn-out drivers on our roads.

Transport for London (TfL) is in charge of renewing Uber’s 5 year license to operate in London, and they’re going to make a decision on it this summer. Today, GMB, the union for Uber drivers, has called on TfL not to renew the license unless Uber guarantee safe working practices and basic employment rights.

Together we can remind TfL of their obligations to all Londoners and not just to Uber’s powerful lobbyists. Sign the petition to tell TfL to keep Uber drivers and passengers safe.

Support Disabled People’s Right to Ride!

1537f6ab-d6c5-45d6-8271-fb704371d8faOn this Thursday 20th July TSSA and DPAC members and supporters will be travelling together en masse to the Department for Transport’s headquarters in London to deliver a petition demanding the right to ride. This is a part of DPAC’s week of action – to coincide with the holding of the para-athletics championships in London.

Assemble outside the Department for Transport at 2pm.
Department for Transport Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London W1P 4DR

RMT announces victory for justice over Night Tube drivers’ career progression

T342rmtlogo-554UBE UNION RMT has called off strike action and heralded a victory for justice for Night Tube drivers as LUL agreed to end the practice of preventing them from moving into vacant full-time positions for a period of at least 18 months. All other staff, including part-time Night Tube Station Staff had been eligible to apply, but Night Tube Train Operators were not.

This policy had led to the union being in dispute with LUL with a whopping 96% voting for strike action and over 98% for action short of a strike. Strike action had been planned for April 8 and 9 and April 29 and 30.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“I want to congratulate our members for standing firm and delivering a massive vote in favour of strike action over this discriminatory policy. It forced London Underground to see sense and stop discriminating against Night Tube drivers over their career progression.

“It was a senseless and damaging policy that picked out one group of staff for negative treatment and of course the drivers were angry, which is why our members voted overwhelmingly for action.

“Now that the dispute has been resolved we have called off the strike action and instructed our members to work as normal.”

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