Central Line Breakdown in industrial Relations

A meeting took place on August 1st, between RMT Officials, RMT Central Line Representatives and senior LU management in an attempt to avert a ballot of all Central Line drivers due a breakdown in industrial relations on the line.

Relations between management and your industrial and safety representatives have worsened over the past 18 months or so until it has got to the stage where your union firmly believe that the Central Line management is out of control.

Senior Central Line managers seem to believe that LU policies and procedures, the Health and Safety at
Work Act and no doubt any duty of care don’t applyto them. They have been running the line like a Central Line Republic, as if it were a distant relation to LU with its own separate governance.

Most Central Line drivers will be familiar with some of the following issues:

  • Abuse of the staff errors procedure and SPAD policy to leave you in fear of your job
  • Maximum cautions without any discretion being applied
  • Misuse of the attendance at work policy
  • Breaking of local agreements
  • DRMs driving trains and undermining your job
  • Serious safety breaches which endanger your safety at work
  • Examples include cancellation of Line SPAD, Depot Liaison meetings, track walks and PTI Meetings.
  • Refusal to convene FIRs and excluding reps from investigations
  • Refusal to consider Air Conditioning units on the Waterloo and City Line
  • Bringing defective trains back into service.

Your RMT representatives were astonished to hear from management that some meetings were cancelled as management ‘didn’t like the attitude of the reps’. It transpires that if management on the
Central Line do not like the cut of their jib they will not meet with them! Really?

The RMT were also shocked to hear managers at the meeting claim to have wilfully disregarded LU policy.
Drivers who wilfully break procedures and ignore LU policy would be down the road in a flash.

A Further allegation that LU are looking into is the alleged fraudulent completion of risk assessments, claiming reps were in attendance when it appears they were not. Risk assessments are there to keep the job safe for staff and passengers alike.

The Director of Employment Relations, Gerry Duffy, accepted that there are issues that need resolving. To
that end another meeting between management and RMT representatives will take place this week.

What next?
If talks fail a ballot for industrial action is being considered and if it goes ahead we ask that this is
sent back with a YES vote to give LUL a clear message that we won’t be messed about any more.

For further information on any of the issues mention here contact your local RMT Representatives.