Unions accuse LU of safety breaches
The dispute between trade unions and London Underground over changes to working conditions following the introduction of Night Tube services in September has deepened with unions accusing LU of not following correct safety procedures.
Four unions are proposing to take industrial action on 5 August, and an overtime ban is currently in place. RMT General Secretary Mick Cash says the ban is ‘biting hard’. The union has raised concerns about safety procedures, with Mr Cash saying ‘It has become so serious we have been forced to report LUL to the ORR (Office of Rail and Road) over a series of breaches of safety protocol last weekend. Talks at ACAS were cancelled today as we were called to attend an emergency meeting with the ORR to discuss these breaches.’
From next Tuesday, the union has instructed its members not to train or familiarise any LU employee or contractor
‘in any working practice/s that are not a normal, contractual and agreed job task work location of the trainee’. It has also asked all operators not to bring any trains into service which have not been prepped within the previous 24 hours or where they have been prepped by unqualified personnel.
ASLEF has reported that it gave LU notice that it intended to take similar action and that in response the operator has threatened to take legal action against the union.
Mr Cash says that there is no current resolution to the dispute over working conditions, describing the current offer from LU as ‘totally divisive’, explaining that ‘over two thirds of staff would not benefit from any payment for Night Tube’.
Steve Griffiths, LU’s chief operating officer, said: ‘We will never compromise on safety and are operating the Underground safely for our customers and staff.’