Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Hopefully I was right!

According to the BBC London News, it looks like ASLEF will be calling off the strike planned for Thursday. Although it's not certain yet, it is looking hopeful. If ASLEF calls off the strike, then the RMT are bound to follow!

Monday, February 27, 2006

I'm still here!

I noticed my colleague Tube Dude mentioning the fact that none of us other LU bloggers seem to be making any updates! So just to prove I'm still alive I thought I'd make a new blog entry!

I apologise for the lack of updates, but there has really been nothing of any interest to blog about! In fact, I did make a quite long post about my recent block training experiences just a few minutes ago, but the electricity went off (as per usual in this shit hole) and I really can't be bothered to write all of that again.

Briefly, the training has now changed to include training for the new Connect radio project (I believe originally planned for 2001 so they're running slightly over...). Anyway, the training was a waste of time! The instructor did his best to tell us about the system, but sadly the powerpoint presentation didn't work, nor did the radio sets which were installed in the Hammersmith training room, so I'm still none the wiser as to how the radio system works, although it does promise to be a huge improvement on the current one (which isn't difficult on the District - I can receive German radio stations on a Long Wave wireless more clearly than the District Controller can be heard on the current train radio!)

The strike scheduled to take place this Thursday 2nd March is still on at the moment, but I am fully expecting both unions to call it off again. This particular strike is about the new policies LU are apparently trying to impose without union consultation, but I believe the company and unions are 'actively talking' now, so hopefully Thursday's strike will be called off. Then the pay discussions begin...

Apparently the company are looking for a five year deal, including a no-strike agreement. This will take us up to 2011. Surely they should be looking at a six year deal to cover the Olympics in 2012? Anyway, the unions are certainly going to be tied up with those negotiations, and no doubt there'll be the usual threats of action from the RMT and possibly ASLEF.
I don't think these discussions have been started yet, and therefore I'm not positive on the long-term deal thing, but that's what the rumour mills are spreading, and they're usually pretty accurate!

Anyway, that's it for now. I'd better publish this before the electricity trips out again...

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Ghost-Busters Needed!

Maybe a case for my colleague Tube Dude who is fascinated by such things:

Last night on arrival in Barking sidings, I shut down my train to change to the west end as usual. As I walk through the train, I slam the inter-connecting doors behind me as I walk through.
Anyway, all inter-connecting doors are closed and I'm sitting just behind the west-end drivers cab reading a newspaper waiting for my departure time and I clearly hear the unmistakeable sound of inter-connecting doors slamming!

Now, those of you who know me (or read my comments on Tube Dude's blog about his ghost hunting) will know ghostly-type things completely freak me out! Here I am in Barking sidings alone on my train, which I've just walked through so I know is empty and I can hear the doors slamming!
I stick my head out the cab door to see if there's another train alongside me, which there isn't. There are a few C stock trains stabled over the other side of the sidings, but I wouldn't have heard their doors slamming.

I wasn't brave enough to have a stroll back down the train to check, I just locked myself in my cab!
It could have been anything I suppose, but the sound of the inter-connecting doors slamming is quite distinctive as I've heard it before when a fitter has been walking through my train. This time there was no-one. There may well be a logical explanation, and I've been desperately trying to think of one!

I'm dreading going back into Barking sidings again now! So Tube Dude, I suggest the next time you pass Barking sidings, see if you feel anything!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Strikes Announced

Well, the results of the combined RMT & ASLEF ballot have been announced, and they are in favour of strike action.
This dispute WILL have an effect on the service, unlike the previous RMT station staff strikes as this time the drivers are involved. The LUL management may be able to sneak their own people into stations to keep them open, however they certainly can't get a non-qualified person to drive a train.

The dates of the two strikes announced so far are Tuesday 21st February and Thursday 2nd March.
I'm not sure of the exact details of the strikes yet, however it will probably be a case of the action being from 9pm to 9pm, therefore services will start winding down at 9pm on Monday 20th. I'll update you as soon as I know.

Before anyone posts comments slating me, I've mentioned before both here (and on Annie Mole's Blog comments) that I hate striking for anything other than safety issues, and I don't believe that the current dispute is about safety. Believe me, I'm as sick of strikes as anyone else.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Back From The Grindstone!

Back to normal! Had a nice week away although it could hardly be classed as a holiday! In fact, every period of time off work I have is never called a holiday really because there's always something my wife finds for me to do!

Last week I've replaced all of the curtain rails in the house, painted the hallway and measured for the wood flooring my wife has decided she now wants. I'll have the pleasure of laying that during my next 'holiday' in May!

So, it's nice to be back at work for a rest! Very quiet first shift back, although I've managed to get ten minutes overtime because the signallers are still being total idiots. Apparently they're still 'working to rule' which surely should mean they actually do their job properly instead of holding us everywhere for no reason?
Still, if they want to keep giving me overtime I'll not complain! It all helps at pay day.