12 July 2017
RMT Press Office
RMT to take action in Piccadilly Line/Tube Lines workshop dispute over two-tier workforce
Tube union RMT today confirmed action by staff in the Piccadilly Line workshops at Northfields and Cockfosters Depots in a dispute over an attempt by Tube Lines to create a two-tier workforce by driving a coach and horses through current agreements and recruiting 35 new staff on fixed term contracts.
The company say that additional work is necessary to enable 24-hour lifting of the trains to replace damaged wheels due to problems with rail head contamination from leaf fall and wheel flats on the line. RMT has raised this issue, and the safety implications, repeatedly and is appalled that Tube Lines are now planning to address it by ripping up current agreements, threatening job security and opening the door to wholesale casualisation.
RMT’s position is that all new posts should be recruited on a permanent basis and has put forward in talks a series of proposals that would allow that to happen. The company at this stage have not agreed to the unions plans leaving RMT's executive with no choice but to confirm that following action;
With effect from 07.30 hours on Tuesday 25th July 2017 until further notice members are instructed as follows: -
• Not to work any Overtime
• Not to carry out roles beyond their substantive positions and locations
• Not to deviate from current valid approved work instruction documents
• Not to deviate from current valid approved risk assessments
• Not to deviate from latest issue of Tube Lines supplement to the rule book
• Members not to work onsite unless a first aider is on duty
• Members not to perform coaching and/or buddy duties
In addition to the above RMT's NEC has stated it will take full consideration of our live mandate for strike action, subject to the progress of talks later this week and in full consultation the unions negotiating team.
Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said:
“RMT has made it clear that the union will not sit back and watch while Tube Lines rip up agreements and look to open the door to wholesale casualisation of the workforce.
“It was RMT members who raised the problems with the brakes and wheel sets on the Piccadilly Line in the first place and it is appalling that the company have seized on these serious issues to try and threaten long-term job security.
“RMT has put forward a number of practical proposals that would enable us to move forwards without creating a two-tier workforce. We expect the company to take our proposals seriously.”