RMT requested that all SMA3 training is postponed during covid working conditions

Dear Colleagues,


Further to my previous Circular (IR/523/20, 23rd December 2020) regarding the above, the Lead Officer raised our serious concerns at the highest level within the Machinery over this unsafe practice for Train Operator members to take trains through a new section of automatic running (SMA3) without the possibility of having either a pilot, as provided for by the LUL Rulebook, or having an Instructor Operator in the cab with them due to the current suspension of training and two in a cab.

The National Executive Committee noted the correspondence and that this is an unsafe practice that will leave members at risk driving through the SMA3 area without proper training, effective support, skills and line knowledge.

RMT requested that all SMA3 training is postponed during covid working conditions, as is the case for other cab training but the Company response so far is to post Instructor Operators on each platform in the area which is outside of any process in the Rulebook and will not offer the necessary support to Train Operators as they pass through the new automatic running area. Furthermore, at a meeting earlier this week, LUL indicated it will now impose the inferior training arrangement for route training on SSL upgrades.

The NEC considered this matter again and I have now written to London Underground to demand the immediate postponement of non-essential proving work on the SMA3 project scheduled for this weekend for the reasons outlined above and as it will also require additional staff to be called into the workplace at a time when the country is in lockdown.

RMT will of course provide all necessary support to members and I will keep Branches advised of all further developments.