This week ASLEF members across London Underground will receive ballot papers as we renew our mandate to protect your terms and conditions at work. By law we have to do this every six months so that we are able to take action if management try to force through changes without agreement.
Despite saying that they would withdraw their trains modernization proposals last year, the truth is that management have a dedicated team including seconded Train Operations Managers and a project management team working full time on their plans. Having pushed through cuts of hundreds of jobs on stations, they now want to do the same on trains.
Managements own document is open about what their plans are. You can read them here.
Remote booking on and off in depots and remote locations so that you travel to pick up your train in your own time;
Reducing and eliminating walking time so you spend longer in the driving cab;
Increase rostering parameters and shift lengths across the board;
Removing all local and Trains Council agreements and rostering restrictions, like the 5 rounder agreement on the Victoria line, to make duties more “efficient”;
Drastically reducing the number of spare turns and make those that remain "flexible" so they can change your start and finish time at short notice;
Booking on before 04.45 in the morning and working after 01.30 for no extra payments;
Large scale displacement of drivers from those depots who will have “excess staff” and even closing “uneconomic” locations like North Greenwich;
It is a plan to save around £35 million per year by cutting driver numbers and making those who remain work longer and harder. Their model is “Fit for the Future” used to push through huge cuts on stations. We have only been able to stop this happening on trains so far by large Yes votes. Now we have to ballot again to keep our mandate valid.
But it isn’t just drivers who will be impacted. Later this month management plan to start allocating Ipads to staff that can be used for booking on and off, effectively eliminating the Trains Manager grade and making even more savings.
Unless we have a mandate for action we won't be able to do anything to stop management simply pushing through their plans. Every one will be effected by longer driving shifts, and a complete change of rosters, with displacements and depot closures.
Your vote is crucial to stop this happening. Please take time to read the management proposal and see how it would affect you. And return your ballot paper with a YES vote to protect your working conditions.
ASLEF District Organiser.