Tube drivers ramp up public protest in detrainment and staffing dispute
Publication Date: February 21 2013
TUBE DRIVERS involved in a five week dispute over staff and passenger safety on the Bakerloo Line will take their campaign out onto the streets this Friday as the union ramps up public support and pressure on London Underground.
The drivers and their supporters will be outside Queens Park station from 7.30am to 9.00am this Friday – 22ndFebruary – demanding an end to the spin and lies from LUL and serious talks to resolve the bitter dispute which continues to disrupt Bakerloo Line services on a daily basis despite a barrage of misinformation from Transport for London.
Since January 15, Bakerloo drivers in RMT and Aslef have been physically checking that trains are empty of passengers before moving into sidings, after LUL stopped station staff checking carriages in a drive to remove safety-critical staff in the interests of saving money.
LUL’s reckless move had resulted in more than 3,000 ‘overcarries’ into Bakerloo sidings in the last year, including one high-profile case involving a 12-year-old boy who could have jumped onto live rails but for the action of an alert driver.
The drivers’ safety action has eliminated the problem of over carrying, but has resulted in substantial delays to the service, which LUL has tried to hide – including by suppressing routine internal reports that show the true level of cancellations and delays.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said:
“The Bakerloo Line drivers dispute is still rock solid five weeks on and if the company thought we would be winding operations down then they need to wake up to reality. We are stepping up the fight with this Fridays public protest and an on-line lobbying campaign by our colleagues at Labour Start which is bombarding LUL with emails from all around the globe.
“It is bad enough that LUL seems happy with 3,000 overcarries on the Bakerloo in the last year compared with just 94 on nine other lines put together, but to lie through their teeth when our members have to take action to keep the public safe is despicable.
“The company have resorted to the most blatant misinformation to try and keep this dispute about passenger and staff safety out of the spotlight rather than using their time to get around the table with the unions to resolve the issue.
“Social media has been buzzing with angry passengers wanting to know why they are being delayed and not being told about it, and LUL should stop this ridiculous charade, admit they got this one wrong and reinstate the safe procedure they have banned in the interests of axing jobs and saving money.”