RMT accuses TFL of covering up Tube disputes to keep safety out of the public spotlight

Tim Lezard

TubeThe RMT has slammed underground bosses for continuing to spin the travelling public a total pack of lies over the impact of an on-going staffing and de-trainment dispute on the Bakerloo line which is leading to major disruption to services day in and day out.

For the whole of Tuesday TFL recorded delays to services the length of the Bakerloo line on the spurious grounds of “operational issues” – internal code for the impact of staff industrial action which the company would like to keep out of the media spotlight as it is directly associated with passenger safety.

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: “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.

“LUL must have a very low opinion of its passengers to think that pretending nothing is wrong will fool anyone – and they are even making matters worse by refusing to allow control staff to put special measures in place to cope with the delays and cancellations.

“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.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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