The Sleeper's Blog


‘Use retired workers to bust Tube strike’ – GLA Conservatives

The Greater London Authority Conservative group is urging Transport for London to bring back members of the retired staff pool to keep LU running smoothly “even on strike days”.

Richard Tracey AM wants some of the 364 Tube drivers who retired in the last five years to cover for union members by keeping core services running.

According to Tracey, retired workers could be paid the wages that the striking staff would have received. He added that the London Fire Brigade already has a similar “contingency arrangement” where relief staff is on duty during strike action.

He said: “This means we’ll always have a core service even on strike days, and it could be run by retired staff like the fire brigade. It’s an insurance policy for Londoners and the mayor needs to make it happen.”

The move would be in defence of the millions of Londoners “who will yet again suffer on their way to work”.

If viable, it could potentially help fill in the gaps of the 24-hour strike that will shut services down until Friday – but the divisive Tory pitch comes late in the game as strike action is due to start 6.30pm and 9.30pm today.

Any such move would be seen as hugely inflammatory by the unions, and possibly subject to further challenge. The contingency measures for the fire brigade cited by Tracey left firefighters “incandescent with anger”, according to the Fire Brigade Union’s executive council member for London.

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ASLEF Shrugged   07/08/2015 at 11:16

In order to keep their licences valid train drivers have to have driven the specific train stock (there are currently eight different stock on the Tube) and worked the route they are driving in the last six months so most of those 364 retired drivers wouldn't hold valid licences and would need a refresher course with an instructor. In addition all those 364 retired drivers would be union or ex-union members so would probably support the drivers on strike. Of course this says nothing about the station staff, control room operators, signal, track and train maintainers, power supply engineers and junior managers needed to run a railway who are also on strike. Tracey is a fantasist with little knowledge of how the Tube works.

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