Removal of Tunnel Telephone Wires - Jubilee Line

Dear Colleague


On considering a resolution from Neasden Branch regarding London Underground’s intention to remove vital safety equipment from Jubilee Line tunnels north of Bond Street for a period of up to four years the General Grades Committee carried the following resolution:

“We note the resolution from our Neasden branch and the support expressed by representatives from Jubilee South branch. We share our branches’ horror at London Underground’s plan to operate trains on the Jubilee Line north of Bond Street without tunnel telephone wires for a period of up to 4 years. Tunnel telephone wires play an essential safety role, both in facilitating communication and in discharging traction current in an emergency.

We instruct the General Secretary to conduct a ballot of all our Jubilee Line driver members for action short of strike action, with a view to drivers taking action including refusing to drive trains in passenger service through tunnel sections without tunnel telephone wires or suitable alternative protection. This ballot is to be conducted according to a timescale to be discussed with our representatives to ensure sufficient time for members to vote while also allowing us to call action in time for the start of management’s implementation of its reckless plan.

We also instruct the General Secretary to seek joint action with ASLEF on this issue.

We further note the proliferation of issues on which we have had to consider or take industrial action about London Underground trains safety issues. We wish to consider an overall approach to this as well as dealing with it issue-by-issue, and therefore instruct the General Secretary to add this issue to the agenda of the meeting with our representatives on 25 January and place a report of the discussion in front of us.

Developments to be placed in front of us. London Transport Regional Council and branches to be advised.”

In addition, when considering a report of the 25th January meeting the General Grades Committee carried the following decision:

“Further to our previous decision on this issue, we note that discussions with management have taken place and that although there has been some movement, there is still no satisfactory outcome. We remain in dispute and instruct the General Secretary to ballot our members in line with our previous decision. We welcome the co-operation established with ASLEF on this issue and aim to ballot to the same timetable. Reports and developments are to be placed in front of us.

We further note the discussion that took place at the meeting with our LU trains representatives on 25 January about the proliferation of trains’ safety issues. As we requested, our representatives considered an overall approach to this, and have agreed a set of demands, covering issues such as detrainment; agreements; opposition to driverless trains; and drivers to work only at one depot and on one line. We note that discussions are taking place with ASLEF in an attempt to pursue these demands jointly, and we instruct the General Secretary to place a report on these discussions in front of us, under a new file entitled ‘DEFENDING DRIVERS’ JOBS, CONDITIONS AND SAFETY – LONDON UNDERGROUND’.

Developments to be placed in front of us. London Transport Regional Council and Branches to be advised.”

I am acting in accordance with these instructions and I will keep you informed of developments with this case. Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.

Yours sincerely

Bob Crow

General Secretary