At an emergency Health and Safety forum this afternoon (Tuesday 19th), ASLEF along with the other trade unions met with senior management and BTP officers. We made very clear to senior management how deeply concerned members are about the response to the terrorist attack at Parsons Green last Friday.
A key concern was the poor quality of information during the incident. Drivers were told by control that "a police incident " was taking place, only to find on being relieved that they had messages from family and friends abroad asking if they were ok ! The approach from management seems to be not to trust staff with the truth. All this does is create a climate where staff do not trust the messages received.
We explained that if staff could not trust the information they were given, there is a real danger that people will take matters into their own hands. It is in no ones interest for this to happen.
Management accepted that the current situation is not good enough and changes have to be made. Of course we have heard this before but given how serious this issue is there can be no excuse for delay.
We have also raised the issue of J door security. Management have eventually accepted that a more secure mechanism must be provided but there is still no definite date for work to start. ASLEF believe that that action is now urgent. It has to be made a priority. There will be serious problems if there is not swift progress.
It is still the view of the BTP and management that the HOT process is fit for purpose and the best method available to assess lost property. We reiterated our position that it is no part of a drivers role to investigate a bag or item that you deem suspicious. Members should always make safety your priority in dealing with items or individuals that you believe pose a threat.
The BTP also paid tribute to the professionalism of the driver of the incident train and other LU staff.
Your Health and Safety council reps will continue to doggedly pursue these issues as well as the lack of face to face safety briefings. It is clear that LU are simply not taking the issue of safety training seriously. Another meeting will take place on Friday to discuss this
Sadly we live in a time when the threat of another attack is ever present. It is impossible to keep our city safe on the cheap. We need properly trained and qualified staff on London Underground and of course properly resourced and rewarded emergency services to deal with incidents and keep our city safe.