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TSSA in dispute with London Underground

14 October 2016

TSSA is in official dispute with London Underground employers as of 00.01 this morning over serious concerns about the decline in workplace safety for staff working on the tube.

A TSSA staff survey of LU"s new working directive Fit For Future, undertaken over the last week in September and the first in October this year has revealed a catalogue of despair and fear amongst our members about the decline in workplace safety accompanying the new new practices that beckon an urgent response.

TSSA LU reps will now meet early next week to discuss the all steps open to effect and improvement in workplace safety conditions - including triggering a ballot for strike action as early as next week.

  Ticket office survey report

TSSA General Secrtary Manuel Cortes said:

"I am sickened and appalled at the findings of our survey and we will be pulling out all the stops to ensure something is done - and quickly - to make life better for our tube workers.

"When subjected to a thorough staff scrutiny, Fit For the Future turns out to be making the tube unfit for its workers. Almost 85% of staff say the tube is less safe as a work place - and a journey place - than it was 6 months ago. 79% have staff have experienced a sharp rise n verbal abuse and physical abuse from passengers.

"To be called a c**t because of a ticket machine failure is now reported as commonplace. Imagine that your partner, your mother, brother, sister or father was being called c**t as they try and do their best to get through a day made impossible because they are trying to make an unworkable system work.

"It's just not acceptable and this survey leaves management with no hiding place. They need to call time on this disastrous experiment with working practices which we all know is making life miserable for passengers too.

"There's been a sharp spike in staff feeling physically intimidated by frustrated passengers since April. Staff have also been assaulted and robbed as they stand at unprotected gatelines. New loan working directives have increased their actual vulnerability to attack and their feeling of vulnerability and fear because there is often no longer another co-worker on duty.

"The sharp spike in passenger frustration comes because ticket machines are completely useless multi-taskers. They don't give change, replace lost or broken Oyster cards, speak slowly to tourists or other people in need of human assistance, do workplace camaraderie or assist an assaulted or abused co-worker. All our staff want ticket offices reopened to support passengers and staff.

"A lack of adequate training has led to falling staff numbers among the new recruits brought in to work on gateline services. Many remaining and longstanding members of staff are coming under pressure from anxious managers to work overtime just to keep stations open. We have has many instances reported to us of stations not being manned at all. Too many long term staff are thinking of quitting or going part time because their morale is through the floor.

"Its quite simple our tube staff are a vital part of London's public infrastructure. Without them London cannot function. Fit For the Furture must be scrapped. LU management must hear the pleas from our staff to change things. The union places hugh value on the human skills - and the humanity - of our members. We want LU management to do the same and begin to takemimmedaipe steps to restore workplace safety on the tube.

"If not we will consider all options open to us - including strike action. It's to defend workers from conditions such as these that unions exist for and TSSA will hold LU management to account for this."

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