Latest Rail News

15.09.16

LU drivers to strike tonight over ‘hour-long toilet breaks’ dispute

Tube drivers on two routes are to begin two strikes today after RMT and London Underground (LU) failed to reach an agreement over a number of disputes, including allegations that managers are timing staff’s toilet breaks.

Services will be cancelled on the Hammersmith and City line, whilst services on the Circle line will be less frequent and extremely busy.

RMT said the dispute was over “heavy handed and aggressive” actions by managers at depots on the lines, such as ignoring agreed procedures and timing staff’s toilet breaks with a stop watch.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT, added: “This dispute is about the basic issues of protecting working conditions of our members and defending agreements from attempts to drive a coach and horses through them.

“The management are out of control and the anger at their failure to follow procedures has boiled over.”

The drivers will go on strike from 9.30pm on 15 September to the same time on 16 September.

Steve White, operations director for LU, said the dispute had come out because a few drivers were “taking breaks of an hour or more and calling them toilet breaks”, leading to trains being cancelled.

“The suggestion that we are timing toilet breaks and asking intrusive questions is absolutely not true,” he added. “That would be neither dignified nor reasonable. We are trying to support our staff - offering help through our Occupational Health team if a driver has health issues which requires them to take long breaks.

“We hope that the RMT will work with us to resolve the issues and call off the action so that our passengers are not needlessly disrupted.”

RMT has also contributed to the disruptions on the Southern network by leading a series of strikes, with the most recent taking place last week.

(Image c. Anthony Devlin from PA Wire)

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Comments

Andrew Gwilt   16/09/2016 at 04:54

Maybe it's because they work during the day and night and not being able to go to the toilet until the train terminates at a station on the end of the line and some stations do have toilets on the London Underground. Maybe that's why the strikes is about not providing toilet breaks for the drivers who drive the tube train.

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