As part of the Justice for Cleaners campaign, RMT is fighting to end the outsourcing of cleaning work on London’s Underground and Overground rail networks.
As part of work to develop his Manifesto for re-election as London Mayor, Sadiq Khan has launched a policy consultation which is open to all for responses.
RMT is asking members in London to respond to this consultation by sending a model form of words calling on Sadiq Khan to end the outsourcing of cleaning work and bringing these cleaners into Transport for London.
The consultation closes on 31 January. Please help us build our campaign by responding to the consultation today here, using our suggested text: http://bit.ly/35TmatQ
Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, is warning that London could face gridlock if exhausted bus drivers take industrial action later this year.
Unite will begin a consultative ballot of over 20,000 members employed as London bus drivers later this month and, provided a yes vote is secured, a full industrial action ballot will then follow.
Unite is demanding that London bus operators and Transport for London (TfL) take decisive action to tackle chronic levels of fatigue being experienced by bus drivers.
Unite is sharply critical of individual bus operators who have suggested that the solution is simply about ensuring drivers get more sleep.
Unite is instead demanding a revolution in how bus driving is scheduled to ensure that drivers can finish on time, are able to utilise all of their breaks, work to proper schedules, have enough running time to complete their journey, are treated with respect and receive proper training.
A survey by Loughborough University which was commissioned by TfL, and published last August, discovered that 21 per cent of bus drivers had to ‘fight sleepiness’ at least two or three times a week and 17 per cent had actually fallen asleep at the wheel at least once in the past year.
Since the publication of the Loughborough report, TfL has attempted to deflect responsibility for the fatigue being suffered by bus drivers and has said that it is the responsibility of individual bus operators to resolve the situation. Unite believes this position is entirely unacceptable.
A survey of over 5,000 Unite bus driver members in September found 44 per cent of bus drivers work six days a week and long hours created severe physical, mental and relationship problems. A total of 79 per cent of drivers reported that in the past year they had made errors while driving due to tiredness.
Drivers had enough
Unite regional officer John Murphy said: “London bus drivers have had enough; they are permanently fatigued and at risk of being a danger to other road users, bus passengers and themselves.
“Unite will shortly be conducting a consultative ballot and provided our members endorse industrial action, strikes will follow later this year unless action is taken to ensure that the problems causing chronic fatigue for our members are resolved.
“TfL cannot simply sweep this problem under the carpet. It must act decisively and stop trying to pass the problem onto bus operators who have consistently failed to resolve the issue and have instead allowed it to worsen.
“For the last 25 years bus operators have been failing to deal with this problem. Unite members are saying enough is enough.”
On Thursday 2nd January 2020, rail fares go up again by another 2.8%.
The rail franchising system is broken and it’s passengers that are paying the price. Bring Back British Rail is joining forces with our friends at the Association of British Commuters and other passenger groups across the country to organise a National Day of Passenger Action demanding an end to the farce of franchising and fair fares now!
They’ll be a central demonstration at London King’s Cross at 8am. Details of other actions will be listed on the Facebook event page and below.
Thursday 2nd January 2020:
08:00-09:30 London King’s Cross Station
10:00-12:00 Norwich Station (organised by NOR4NOR)
11:30-12:30 London Liverpool Street Station
16:30-19:30 Bolton Station (organised by Northern Resist)
Please get in touch if you’d like to organise an action at your local station and we can help promote it: firstname.lastname@example.org
RMT to protest at Parliament tomorrow over threat to ban transport workers from taking strike action
TRANSPORT UNION RMT has confirmed that it will be staging a protest tomorrow outside Parliament in response to the threat by the in-coming Tory government to ban workers across the sector from taking any kind of effective industrial action.
The provisions for this legislation are expected to be included in tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech and as a result the demonstration has been organised to assemble outside parliament on:
Thursday 19th December, by 12.30pm by Parliament Square, (Opposite the Houses of Parliament), SW1P 3JX. https://goo.gl/maps/uAmeAS6o46rmk8hW9
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“It hasn’t taken long for the true colours of this new Tory Government to emerge and tomorrow we will be kicking off the fight back against their new raft of anti-union laws.
“Nobody should be under any illusions about the scale of the threat now being lined up against the trade union movement. Banning strikes and denying workers the basic human right to withdraw their labour has been the hallmark of hard right, authoritarian regimes throughout history.
“It is no coincidence that this threat comes while our members on South Western Railway are continuing a month of rock-solid action in defence of the basic principle of a rail service that is safe and accessible for all.
“Instead of attacking rail workers fighting to defend safety and disabled access any responsible Government would be tackling the scandal of private profiteering on Britain’s railways which has reduced services to chaos.”
Other unions back the protest, taking industrial action is a basic human right and denying workers the ability to withdraw their labour has previously been the hallmark of hard right, authoritarian regimes.
The provisions for this legislation will be included in Thursday’s Queen’s Speech and a demonstration has been organised outside parliament to coincide with it by the Trade Union Co-ordinating Group, of which PCS is a member.
UNION RMT has released a full list of London Overground’s plans to cut
hours at 45 stations to the bare minimum and close the ticket offices
altogether at Brondesbury, White
Hart Lane and West Hampstead.
The revelations of the scale of the planned cutbacks comes on the eve of the union holding a day of action as part of a fresh campaign to fight the closures. Last year, London Overground planned to close 51 ticket offices on the network. However, RMT launched a campaign and thousands of London Overground passengers opposed the closures leading to the Mayor intervening and promising to keep the Ticket offices open.
- RMTs Ticket Office Campaign – full details HERE
The RMT is currently campaigning against planned cuts to ticket office opening hours across the London Overground network.
year, the operator of London Overground, Arriva Rail London (owned by
the German State Railways) planned to close 51 ticket offices on the
network. Because of the level of opposition from passengers (there were
around 6000 responses opposing the proposals), the Mayor of London
announced in April 2019 he would halt the closures.
However, London Overground is now planning to cut ticket office opening hours across the network to the bare minimum – effectively achieving its original goal by stealth. These plans amount to closures in all but name – many stations are facing cuts of 80% or more compared to their current hours.
If these cuts go ahead, the RMT firmly believes that:
- Stations will become less safe, secure and accessible
- Passengers will not be able to access all ticket types and services at machines
- Many people, including disabled and elderly passengers, would struggle to purchase tickets and get advice and assistance at the station
- It will be easier for London Overground to close more ticket offices in the future.
The RMT has urged the Mayor to use his powers to intervene and halt these damaging cuts, but to date, this has not happened.
Therefore, the RMT has convened a protest at which we will be calling for the Mayor, TfL and London Overground to halt these proposals.
The Demonstration is taking place at 9am on Wednesday 20th November, outside City Hall, London, SE1 2AA.
The RMT has already held a number of successful action days at London Overground stations, distributing postcards for passengers to send to the Mayor, opposing the cuts.
We are grateful for the support already given to the campaign by a number of Trades Councils and anything further you could do to support the campaign and/or the demonstration would be much appreciated.
If you are able to distribute leaflets and postcards locally, please email Sophie Ward (email@example.com) and we will arrange for these to be sent to you.
Over a thousand key London Underground staff to strike over safety-critical cuts
TUBE UNION RMT confirmed today that over a thousand key London Underground maintenance and engineering staff will strike for three days in a dispute over the hacking back of train preparation and inspection schedules which the union warns would have a devastating impact on both service reliability and public safety. The announcement follows a nine to one vote for action.
Staff will take strike action as follows:
Not to book on for any shifts between 07:00 on Friday 17th May until 07:00 Monday 20th May 2019
In addition workers are taking action short of strike in a number of areas around risk assessments , a ban on lone working and a ban on working without valid licences and fire wardens being in place.
The staff involved work at tube fleet maintenance depots right across
Greater London and are critical to the day to day operation of London
Earlier this year RMT advised London Underground that a dispute situation exists over its intentions to extend the fleet train preparation schedules. Despite that, LU has continued to fail to engage in any meaningful consultation or negotiation with RMT or provide the union with full information on all safety aspects.
The LU proposals will decimate inspection frequencies beyond all recognition. Not only will it lead to major fleet issues, it will inevitably lead to more train failures in service putting unacceptable pressure on members and leaving the whole of LUL and the travelling public at significant increased risk.
RMT has demanded that no changes to fleet preparation schedules take
effect without agreement between LUL and RMT and that all current
activity in relation to the matter is halted until full consultation and
negotiation has taken place, including full examination of all safety
aspects in relation to this matter.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“The nine to one ballot result showed just how angry tube staff are
at proposals London Underground are attempting to bulldoze through that
would decimate the inspection and safety culture on the fleet.
“Despite that result tube bosses have ignored the workforce and are pressing ahead and it is that intransigence that has left us no option but to confirm industrial action today.
“Our message is clear, LU should pull back immediately rather than crash on regardless of the consequences of their actions.
“We remain available for genuine and serious talks.”
In December 2018 TfL Commissioner, Mike Brown, published a new business plan,
which includes a further 30% of cuts by 2022.
The ‘back and middle office’ areas of TfL that are slated for further cuts include
Engineering, Major Projects, maintenance, Health, Safety & Environment, Strategy
& Planning, and the Finance & Commercial departments.
Although these may not technically be cuts to frontline services, we are extremely
concerned that these cuts will reduce TfL’s ability to deliver a safe, reliable transport
service. There will be a major impact on Londoners’ daily experience of transport,
whether on the Tube, Overground, DLR, buses, tram, walking, cycling or driving.
These cuts will also have particular impacts on poorer passengers,
disabled people, women, BAME and younger / older Londoners.
The many are paying the price of the failures of the few.