Strategy to Defend Stations & Revenue Jobs

This resolution, submitted by Stratford no.1 branch and seconded by TfL no.1 branch, was passed unanimously by the October 2009 meeting RMT's London Transport Regional Council.

This branch / Regional Council endorses and will carry out the following strategy for defending stations and revenue jobs:

1. London Underground is currently pursuing several policies which lead us to believe that the company intends to cut stations and revenue jobs within the next few years, including:
- not covering duties where rostered staff are unavailable
- not filling vacancies on stations, and in the RCI grade
- driving custom away from ticket office windows eg. £5 minimum Oyster top-up, reduction in range of tickets on sale, inducements to buy elsewhere, station refurbs excluding or reducing ticket office windows, even changing signs from "tickets" to "information"!
- the 2007 Rule Book reducing Station Supervisor duties, particularly during engineering hours
- the situation on Wembley Central group, which uses agency staff and security guards, and only has full Supervisor cover at three stations
- the use and abuse of the Special Requirements Team to substitute for resident station staff

2. Further moves by management may follow, including:
- group station control rooms, leaving smaller stations unstaffed
- replacing the system of licensing with 'competence', enabling managers to deploy staff much more flexibly
- introduction of fixed-term contracts, which LUL is trying to introduce for staff who are foreign nationals

3. These policies are leading towards cuts in staffing, which will result in:
- possible redundancies
- increased unemployment
- loss of promotion opportunities
- reduced opportunities for redeployment
- increased workload for staff who remain
- increased vulnerability to assault and accidents
- increased risk to staff working in other grades
- more lone working
- reduced customer service

4. We believe that RMT must start the fight to defend jobs now. We can not carry on simply reacting to management's latest move, or wait for the company to announce the almost-inevitable job cuts.

5. The union should fight job cuts, not just compulsory redundancies.

6. We resolve to:

(a) Collate and use information:
- ask all local reps for a list of vacancies on their group.
- ask all local reps (industrial relations and health & safety) to inform us of incidents where short-staffing has caused problems
- provide more consistent and indepth information to members
- review documentation such as IRFs to identify problems caused by understaffing

(b) Encourage members to object:
- to always report incidents where short-staffing causes problems, both to management and to RMT
- to submit a grievance if a post they have nominated is held vacant - individual, if they are top of the list; collectively, by all on the list

(c) Involve all grades in this campaign, in recognition of the fact that reduced station staffing has an adverse affect on staff in all grades. This can include:
- collating information on incidents where absence of station staff has adversely affected other grades
- articles about station staffing in newsletters for eg. drivers, service control

(d) Challenge LUL's contention that job cuts are financially necessary, by:
- obtaining as much financial information as possible via eg. Freedom of Information Act
- demanding that the company open its books to trade union and public scrutiny

(e) Renew our efforts to organise SRT staff

(f) Proactively demand increased staffing:
- all level one stations reps to seek to identify where staffing should be increased in their location, and table proposals for increased staffing at level one meeting
- organise petitions of local staff in support of the increased staffing demand

(g) Mobilise popular support for our campaign
- launch a campaign - "SOS: Staff Our Stations"
- organise a central London launch event
- organise public meetings in local areas, perhaps focused around particular stations
- help reps and branches to organise local campaigning eg. petitions, letters to local newspapers
- encourage branches to send delegates to borough TUCs to raise this issue and ask for support
- request a meeting with RMT press officer to discuss strategies for obtaining media coverage
- produce campaigning materials eg. posters, stickers
- contact other trade unions - particularly those in the public sector - to suggest joint campaigning against public service cuts
- contact passengers', community and disability groups

(h) Establish a steering committee to oversee this campaign, to include both industrial relations and health & safety reps, and to include representation from all grades.

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