No matter what stock you are driving all Train Operators have one thing in common, we all have a J door behind us. That means any issues with the J door affect us all.
Every driver knows just how insecure our cabs are. J doors can be opened by a simple ring pull or a key readily available on the internet, local supermarket, or DIY store.
That is simply not good enough. In a time of heightened terrorist threats to public transport, where assaults on drivers and the risk of “active shooter” or bladed weapons attacks have become the “new normal”, London Underground have a duty to ensure drivers are safe while carrying out our duties.
Management have come out with a long list of excuses for their failure to make our cabs secure. As always they complain about the costs, while they never have trouble finding money for their own pet projects. They even went as far to say that, even if a driver was seriously injured or killed it would be unlikely to alter the ‘risk profile’ and make them take any action!
We understand the need for passengers to be able to exit through the J door in an emergency but it would be relatively simple to provide this while still keeping cabs secure.
Despite being stonewalled at every meeting, your ASLEF Tier 2 Health & Safety Reps have persisted with the argument for improved security. Management have accepted that train cabs are not a ‘place of safety’ and we have forced LU to seriously consider options for security improvements.
This issue was also raised by ASLEF in November at a security summit with the Mayor of London and at that time the Managing Director of London Underground gave an assurance that money would be made available. However we are now being told by management that cab security will have to compete with other ‘risk reduction measures’ on the basis of what LU sees as benefits - such as Lost Customer Hours and the safety of their assets such as trains and stations.
As the decision whether to do this work is coming up in February, it will be crunch time for the next steps we take.
ASLEF believe that drivers must be entitled to carry out our duties in a safe and secure environment. If management try to evade their responsibilities then the decision on what we do as a Union will rests with you, our members.
Please speak to your reps and give them your feedback and attend branch meetings to raise your concerns.