13 Days Remaining

Tuesday 19th
posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

TUBE drivers on London’s key Central line will strike on Friday, but London Underground bosses have continued to “shrug their shoulders” over cuts and bullying.

Rail union Aslef made the announcement yesterday following a ballot in which over 90 per cent of drivers on the route voted for strike action.

Workers complained of a culture of bullying and a general lack of respect from managers.

Employees with many years service have been summoned to sickness review meetings and told they will be forced out of their jobs.

And one driver was said to have been hauled through disciplinary action after his train left its terminus only 33 seconds late.

An Aslef source told the Star: “We’re striking in protest at management’s general refusal to treat drivers with respect and dignity.

“It ranges from the way in which individual cases are handled to a culture of cuts that is putting enormous pressure on staff.

“A whole range of issues that our members have raised have just not been taken seriously.

“The situation seems to be worst of all on the Central line, but it’s symptomatic of a wider culture in London Underground, where even quite senior staff get shouted at by their own bosses.

“We’ve had two meetings with management but they’ve just been shrugging their shoulders so far.”

London Underground’ general manager Lance Ramsey branded the action “unnecessary.”

He said: “We have been holding discussions with Aslef to work through local issues they have raised within our agreed processes.”

“We’re disappointed that Aslef members have voted in favour of strike action while discussions are still ongoing. Strike action is not necessary and we urge them to continue talks with us to understand and resolve their concerns.”

London Underground is currently pushing through a 20 per cent cut to driver “refresher” training on the Central line. This is in spite of an Rail Accident and Investigation Branch report into an “uncontrolled evacuation” at Holland Park station last summer concluding that staff on the line need extra training.

Further talks between unions and Underground managers will take place today.