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Why we are striking today

5 August 2015

TSSA supports Night Tube, but we believe that it must be implemented in a way that is safe, secure and sustainable for passengers and LU staff. TSSA members are hard-working and, in many cases, long-serving members of staff at London Underground. They are committed to ensuring the safety of the travelling public in London. Today, alongside the other recognised trade unions in London Underground, they are losing pay to take strike action.

 Some of our reasons for taking action:

  • Safety concerns about Night Tube: LU is introducing Night Tube without proper consultation on key aspects of Health & Safety. TSSA believes that staffing level and safety arrangements are inadequate, putting both staff and passengers at risk.
  • Ticket office closures and staff cuts: these continue and are leaving stations with insufficient or even no staff present.
  • Significant changes to working practices: LU is disregarding existing agreements and working arrangements, and seeking to make changes without meaningful negotiation.
  • Increased night-working, fewer weekends and further to travel to work: if imposed by LU will undermine the work-life balance of hard-working staff.
  • Payments for night-working: LU has offered only a one-off non-pensionable payments in return for staff implementing and delivering Night Tube by 12 September 2015.

Night Tube not Nightmare

TSSA supports Night Tube, but we believe that it must be implemented in a way that is safe, secure and sustainable for LU staff and for passengers.

We do not believe that London Underground is fully prepared for the introduction of Night Tube on 12 September. Despite having had 18 months prepare for implementation, LUL management have only begun negotiations and discussions with staff in the last few months.

Some of our concerns are highlighted below:

  • Night Tube will be staffed by newly recruited part-time staff, with only 3 weeks’ training. Given recent increases in assaults on the underground, using primarily inexperienced staff may put them – and the public – at risk.
  • Insufficient station staff: from February 2016 Night Tube – running throughout Friday and Saturday nights – will have the same staffing levels as are used on a Sunday evening.
  • No minimum staffing numbers for many stations: meaning an increase in lone-working, and some stations being unstaffed, despite LUL’s promise that would not be the case.
  • Down-grading of station Control Rooms: alongside insufficient staff numbers, this means that CCTV cameras will increasingly be unmonitored.
  • Ticket offices closed at night: customer service staff – many working alone – will be expected to cover gate-lines, deal with ticketing and other enquiries and ensure the security of stations.
  • Night Tube will run only 4-6 trains per hour in central London, and in outer London trains may only run every 30 minutes. This means that passengers will be gathering stations for a longer, potentially leading to overcrowding.
  • Virtually no stations running Night Tube have public toilet facilities, and few public conveniences will be open outside tube stations at night.
  • Many stations will only be part-open and LUL is now reneging on its commitment to provide fixed, lockable gates to secure non-operational areas. Instead, they intend to use less secure tensa-barriers, giving easier access to parts of the station where engineering work may be taking place.

TSSA’s H&S reps have been constantly questioning LUL management regarding their plans for operating Night Tube, and the consequent difficulties it will create for staff to evacuate and control numbers as and when necessary.

LUL’s responses so far have been evasive, unhelpful and lack clarity. TSSA believes that these issues MUST be addressed before introducing Night Tube.

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