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RMT Has Not Agreed Olympics "Deal" for Tube Drivers

RMT General Grades Committee decision:

We note that London Underground management announced yesterday that they have reached a ‘deal’ for train drivers during the Olympic Games period. RMT has not agreed this deal; this union registered our failure to agree at the Trains Functional Council meeting.

Our members and representatives have serious concerns, including:
• The deal includes nine-hour duties at weekends. This is not acceptable to our members, who see it as turning back the clock, worsening working conditions, and putting themselves in danger of fatigue.
• The deal allows management to change drivers’ rest days, and to change duties at short notice.
• The deal allows management to roster drivers’ working hours longer than the 36-hour week normally worked, up to 42 hours.
• The changes to the Framework Agreement are presented as ‘temporary’, but we can expect LUL to use this as an opportunity to make permanent changes to the detriment of drivers’ working conditions.
• The payments for overtime and longer duties are not clear, and may not be as generous as they are being presented.
• Being paid overtime rates to do overtime is not a special deal for the Olympics, but a standard practice.

We believe that the changes to the Framework Agreement mentioned above are not necessary, as London Underground could achieve the enhanced train service needed for the Olympics by recruiting more drivers from the many other employees who have applied already or wish to apply.

We note that during the Olympic Games, LU expects there to be three peak periods each day and a massive increase in passenger numbers that will lead to crowded trains and crowded platforms at nearly every station, with all the difficulty that causes for drivers and for other grades.

We further note that all grades of London Underground workers face increased workload and pressure during the Olympics. All grades deserve to be properly rewarded, and to be protected against attacks on hard-won Agreements and rights.

We instruct the General Secretary to:
• write to London Underground immediately, confirming our rejection of this deal, and requesting a meeting to address our concerns
• seek to correct misrepresentation in the media of this union’s position
• obtain a report on discussions on the Olympics for other grades of LU staff
• send a personal letter to all driver members outlining this union’s stance

We note the offer made by Train Operator grades and refer this matter to our Olympics sub-committee for examination and report. A report from the lead organiser on all grades to be obtained and placed before the GGC.