Underground management step back from plan to punish the sick after ASLEF threaten strike!
At a London Underground Company Council meeting two weeks ago, we were told of management’s aim to replace the current Attendance at Work (AAW) procedure and replace it with an even more punitive one.
Instead of a maximum length warning of 26 weeks under the current procedure, all warnings would be for 52 weeks, with no discounted items. There would be no right of appeal at Stage 1. No matter how good your previous attendance was, or what the illness you suffered was, you would get a 52-week warning with no right of representation or appeal!
Should you have further sickness for any reason, another warning and then a final warning would be given, and you would then be dismissed. All items would count. Catching Covid or breaking your leg would be a disciplinary issue that would lead to a warning. Even time off for “one unders” or near misses would have counted as disciplinary items.
At the meeting ASLEF reps pointed out that issues with the current procedure were due to management failures to operate it properly. We would not accept any new policy being imposed without agreement. ASLEF made it very clear that we would be in dispute if they continued.
Management seemed to think they could ignore our objections. But when ASLEF informed them that we would be serving notice of industrial action, their tune quickly changed. They now say that “no proposal has been put forward” and that they have no timeline to do so. They have accepted that we have whole raft of agreements on attendance and that negotiations, not just “consultation “would have to take place if they want to make changes.
ASLEF have repeatedly said that while we will always be prepared to negotiate, we will never accept being bullied or detrimental changes being imposed. We have a strong mandate to take action when needed to protect our agreements and will not hesitate to use it when needed.
There will be huge challenges in the months ahead as the massive cuts to TfL’s budget take hold. But once again we have shown that when we are determined and prepared to stand our ground we can and will defend our agreements.