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  • Finn Brennan ASLEF District Organiser.

"We were wrestling in the cab doorway while the train continued on its own"

“Halfway between Golders Green and Brent Cross, my cab door flew open and in charged a man who grabbed me round the shoulders and started screaming. As the train was in ATO mode, I jumped out of my seat and we were wrestling in the cab/doorway while the train continued on its own while the customers watched on in shock. I eventually got him out of the cab and hit the Mayday button.

This all happened at around 1pm in the afternoon so it can happen to anyone at any time”

Those are the words of a Northern line driver reporting what happened to him one afternoon in 2015. Since then your ASLEF reps have been arguing for secure driving cabs on the London Underground. This week our driver members will receive ballot papers for industrial action as our campaign continues.

It is not a decision we have come to lightly; but despite more than fifteen meetings with management nothing has changed, and more incidents keep happening.

In the last two weeks we have learned about one on the H&C where a driver was forced to hang on to the inside door handle to stop someone forcing their way into her cab, and another where a driver was threatened while investigating a rear cab breach on the District line. There has been a string of attempts to enter cabs on the Central line as well as an assault on a Northern line driver after a fight broke out on her train.

This can not be allowed to continue. Unless something is done to make driving cabs secure, it is just a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or worse. ASLEF cannot stand idly by and allow that to happen.

This is an issue that can affect any driver, whatever line you are on, whatever shift you work, no matter how senior you are. Of course, we understand the need for access in an emergency, but it would be straightforward to design and install a technical solution. London Underground management have simply not been prepared to commit the resources needed to do so.

Ballot papers will be sent out from Tuesday and we are asking that members Vote Yes and return your ballot paper as soon as possible to arrive by September 19th. A mandate for action from our members will demonstrate to management that the time for procrastination is finished.

They need to act now to make drivers cabs secure

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