Monday 20 June 2011

Saturday night got off to a bad start with a train waiting for a driver on Plat 3 at LES, blocking all trains going to HAI and forcing all EPP trains to go through Plat 2. The TOp for the train on Plat 3 eventually turned up on an EPP train, I never got the full story on how they ended up behind their train but the fact that we didn’t have a spare to cover is worrying.

LUL made an offer for working over the Olympics which is less than we would get under our current overtime agreement so it’s been swiftly rejected by ASLEF. Naturally LUL knew it would never be accepted, this is just their style of negotiation, start with the ridiculous and work towards the reasonable. Not that LUL are alone in this behaviour, I can remember RMT asking for a 12% pay rise a few years ago and the papers announcing that is was disgraceful.

After what seems like a very long four months I am off for the next two weeks, hopefully I will return refreshed and full of energy. Happy travelling Tube people!

Saturday 18 June 2011

Not much to say about the last few nights apart from Friday where the WER Super and I were entertained by a couple having a blazing row that continued along the entire length of the platform. Half way along they stopped for a moment so she could aim a few kicks at him before heading off into the night with her loudly declaring how much she hated him and him announcing that he didn't care to any residents of the London Borough of Hillingdon within earshot.

It looks as if the RMT strike due start on Sunday night will go ahead. At ACAS on Wednesday RMT demanded that LUL promise to reinstate Thomas if the tribunal found in his favour but LUL refused to discuss the matter until the tribunal had delivered it’s verdict. By all accounts the meeting lasted two hours before RMT walked out accusing LUL of intransigence while LUL expressed it’s amazement that RMT had quit the discussions.

The next day Mike Brown announced in a memo that he had sent letter to Bob Crow assuring him that if the tribunal directed LUL to reinstate Thomas they would abide by the decision which begs the question why didn’t he say that at ACAS the previous day.

As with ASLEF’s strike on Boxing Day LUL seem incapable of any compromise when the opportunity presents itself and in most cases they make the offer when it's too late. Perhaps they've developed their negotiation style by watching action movies where the hero arrives to save the day just in the nick of time and deliver a snappy one-liner just before the credits roll.

Obviously it’s the Unions’ fault for not reading the script.

Browsing some RMT propaganda on the disputes someone at Unity House has totted up the cost of legal teams, time spent by managers away from their normal duties, the two men’s wages for the time they have been off the trains plus everything else LUL has spent and come up with an estimated £250,000 of taxpayer’s money that has been wasted on this farce.

Fills you with confidence, don't it.

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Back on nights, the only highlight of Sunday was the strange man shouting and trying to hit the CCTV cameras with an umbrella on the other platform at EPP. Maybe he was protesting against the rise of the “Big Brother” society.

The Station Super had given up trying to coax him across to the “ticket office” side and had called BTP to deal with him. I’m certainly glad I didn’t pursue a career on stations, the last thing I’d want to be doing late on a Sunday night is waiting on my own for assistance to remove yet another nutter so I could shut up shop.

Sunday 12 June 2011

Platform Train Interface, PTI, where people get on and off and where the vast majority of accidents on the Tube and other railways occur. It was raining heavily Friday and I witnessed a woman almost slip over while hurrying for one carriage to another. Fortunately she didn’t but the EB was closed down for ages right at the start of the evening peak when some poor soul broke their hip getting on or off a train at Stratford. Careful, folks.

Otherwise Thursday and Friday were uneventful, back on nights tonight.

Thursday 9 June 2011

Was rather busy yesterday but there wasn’t much to write about on Tuesday apart from the usual defects that bedevil us daily. RMT have announced strikes in support of Arwen Thomas, the Northern Line TOp who along with the now reinstated Eamonn Lynch has been the cause of much agitation since last December.

I’ve just checked the dates and I’ll be on leave so I’ll miss all the fun. There’s another hangover from the days when the managers used to think they were the generals and we were their army to be commanded. We don’t get holiday, we get leave; we don’t get meal breaks, we get meal reliefs; we don’t do shifts, we do duties.

Must be something to do with sticking us all in uniform.

Sunday 5 June 2011

Sadly the family matter that led to my absence on Monday kept me away from work for the rest of the week and Saturday was utterly uneventful. If you hadn’t already noticed nights consist of seven shifts in one week with the two rest days carried over to the following week so I’m only down for three days next week.

I always take the Monday off as I find it a lot easier to adjust back to “normal” life from going to bed at 7am with the extra day off; must be a sign of age. I’ll be back to work Tuesday then Thursday and Friday, then back on for another, hopefully uninterrupted, week of nights before I am off for my two weeks “spring” holiday.

The big climber in the “audience” figures is Poland leaping into a majestic third place.