On Friday evening, London Underground management announced that they are going to impose new timetables and duty sheets across the combine from Sunday April 26th.
These sheets have already been rejected at every level of the machinery; local, Trains Council and Head Office level. ASLEF proposed to management two weeks ago that they should work with our reps to create duty sheets that would provide the service needed while protecting the safety of our members. But instead they decided to steamroll through new duty sheets ignoring agreements and the Machinery of Negotiation.
It seems that management have decided to take advantage of the Coronavirus crises to side-line your union reps and break agreements. First they tried to effectively blackmail the unions into accepting the pay offer, now they are imposing duty sheets outside the agreed process.
Train Drivers are frontline staff who are providing a service for the key workers of London at the risk of their own safety. They are being treated with arrogant contempt by managers working from the safety of their comfortable country homes.
It is also clear that this decision is linked to the agreement on funding that has been reached with central Government. For weeks Government ministers have been demanding an increased service regardless of staff availability or the impact on their safety.
The responsibility for these duty sheets and any impact they have on the service lies completely with management. They know the effect they will have on the ability to carry out social distancing as well as the impact of a change of duties without the agreed 28 days’ notice. Nor it is acceptable for staff to have to put themselves at risk by traveling with passengers during their duty.
We have told management that if they fail to follow the agreed dispute resolution process including ACAS, and no imposition until the process is exhausted, there will be a long term impact on industrial relations that will last well after the current crises has passed. A report has been sent to the ASLEF Executive Committee.
ASLEF will also be reminding members of their legal rights to refuse to work in situations that would put them in serious or imminent danger.
Further updates will follow.