Covid-19. ASLEF letter to London Underground management.
This morning I wrote to London Underground's Director of Line Operations setting out our position on issues that ASLEF Health and Safety and Industrial Relations reps have been dealing with in recent days. The text of the letter is below.
"I am writing to confirm the ASLEF position on a number of issues that have been raised by our representatives in meetings over the last week and in correspondence from our Executive Committee member Terry Wilkinson.
Our aim remains to provide a service for truly essential journeys while minimizing risk to staff. I can not over emphasize just how fragile the confidence of our members is and how important it is that everything possible is being done to reduce the risks they are taking by going to work.
1) ASLEF's position is that the previously issued temporary rosters are not fit for purpose and have been formally rejected. Any proposed new timetable must have rotas designed to minimize unnecessary contact between individuals and maximize social distancing. Duties should have meal reliefs and finish at home depots without the need to travel “on the cushions” so that drivers need to leave their cab as little as possible in the course of their duty.
2) Any new proposed rotas should be fully consulted on and agreed with local representatives.
3) The agreement made to at Trains Council to allow Night Tube and other part- time drivers to work extra shifts needs to be implemented without delay to reduce the burden on full time staff.
4) Social distancing must be rigorously enforced in depots and any staff not required sent home. This is line with our aim to provide a service for truly essential journeys while minimizing risk to staff.
5) Access to canteens and staff areas should be rigorously controlled so social distancing rules can be enforced.
6) The limit of £20 placed on travel expenses claims is unacceptable and unreasonable. All reasonable claims should be reimbursed, and all staff encouraged to use their own transport where possible to reduce the pressure on public transport services and help maintain social distancing.
7) An assurance regime should be urgently put in place so that drivers can confirm that cabs have been cleaned and sterilized.
8) Immediate arrangements should be made to supply staff with enhanced PPE, including disposable masks and gloves and instructions on their correct use.
ASLEF want to continue working in a positive way to help deliver essential services during this terrible time. As the news of the tragic deaths of bus workers at the weekend and the loss of friends, colleagues and family members shows, public transport staff are at real additional risk of contracting Covid- 19. Everything possible must be done to minimize that risk.
Our representatives will continue to highlight issues as they arise.
ASLEF District Organiser.