London Underground staff to strike over safety-critical cuts

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 Underground.

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.”

30 Years Since the Kings Cross Fire

Today is the 30th anniversary of the tragic Kings Cross fire. Anniversaries are a time to take stock. This weekend we will remember the 31 who lost their lives going about their daily commute.

After the Grenfell disaster it is shocking that, in the latest round of massive cuts announced last week by Transport for London and London Underground, they have stated their intention to slice a further 10% or £3million from their health and safety budget. Sadly, the safety standards Fennell tried to build into the rail system which required all stations to be staffed, have been abandoned by managers and their Tory political masters who prioritise rail returning profits over transporting passengers safely.