Wednesday 18 April 2012

Whoops, I overslept yesterday evening and only woke up ten minutes before I was due to book on. I called the DTSM to let them know I wouldn’t make it, had the three Ss as quick as I could and jumped the first bus. Normally they would have stuck a spare on my train and I’d have picked it up when it got back but because we are so short staffed all the spares were out so it sat on the platform waiting for me.

By the time I pulled out I was 30 minutes down which would have made everything late so rather than going up to WER I was short turned at NOA. Note to self; check your alarm tonight.

One thing that I forgotten about the threatened RMT strike action next week was that when Tube Lines was formed along with the maintenance of the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly Lines they also took over the Emergency Response Unit who amongst other things deal with One Unders. That means that if there is an emergency anywhere on the Tube during the strike period next week there will be no one to come sort it out.

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, the folk who drag mangled corpses out from under trains, pick up severed body parts and mop up the blood from the tracks, the people who are so vital to the running of the Tube that during the Olympics will be driven around by the BTP with blues and twos are not being allowed to join (or rejoin) the TfL pension scheme and do not get free travel.

Unsurprisingly Boris’s people are making a big thing of Ken’s connection with RMT. The odd thing is they supported Lesley German of Respect/Left List at the last two elections and when they offered support to him earlier this year Ken told them where to stick it. Now RMT are seeking legal action against Boris for using Bob Crow’s name on it’s anti-Ken posters but none of that has stopped the Evening Standard and Sweaty Gilligan at the Torygraph linking the two.

Now Boris is saying he’ll take on the Unions, four years ago he said he’d negotiate a no-strike deal and I expect him to stick to his pledges with the same diligence as he did last time. I would note that in Boris’s tenure there have been more days lost to industrial action than in Ken’s two terms so perhaps if you want a quieter Tube you should vote Ken.


  1. To be fair, the ERU staff probably do get free travel and are in the TFL pension fund. ERU staff tend to be long-serving and thus all retain these under TUPE after being transferred to Tube Lines under PPP. However LU recently recruited around 100 or more new ERU operators, primarily to increase coverage for the Olympics and then beyond and these people will not receive such benefits. I think the RMT's case is more do to with technical staff who have joined since the PPP started. Stange that if you work for Hackney Community Transport driving a bus for TFL you get a bus/tube staff pass, if you work for TFL subsidiary Tube Lines you get nothing.

  2. the ERU sits at a total number of staff at around 100 operational grades!! They didn't just take on a 100!! Overall in Tubelines( including ERU)the numbers of staff coming into the company after 1996 is around half

  3. You may well be right, I think it might be nearer 30 - 40 new ERU staff. Point is the vast majority of existing ERU staff are senior enough to have passes/pensions under TUPE.

  4. The ERU have always provided a service during Tube Lines RMT strikes. Normally their vehicle(s) are relocated to the LU/RMT garage in Vanden Street SW1 to avoid any pickets (where the LT/LRT chauffeur cars used to be kept!).

  5. Should be LU/BTP(!) garage of course! (Too many initials!!!)