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Breaking: TfL shelves plan to punish staff for COVID absence after union outcry goes viral and ASLEF threatens industrial action

Plan to treat virus-related absence as disciplinary put on hold

Transport for London (TfL) has shelved its ‘shocking’ plan to treat tube staff taking absence for coronavirus infection – despite a new wave of infections building rapidly across the country, driven by new variants – as a disciplinary matter.

Finn Brennan, rail union ASLEF’s district organiser for the London Underground, tweeted news of the ‘shocking’ plan, scheduled to kick in from 19 July – and it went viral, with thousands of shares on social media platform Twitter:

Brennan went on to condemn the ‘complete contempt for frontline staff from senior managers who have the luxury of working from home’:

Then this morning, Brennan accused TfL of ‘doubling down on their disgraceful plan’ – by telling staff to turn off the COVID contact tracing app – and warned that an announcement on industrial action would soon follow:

Less than four hours later, the plan had been abandoned, or at least put on hold indefinitely.

Skwawkbox contacted TfL for comment on its plan this afternoon and during a follow-up call a TfL press spokesperson said that the plan was no longer in play and that the unions had been informed at around 2pm.

Dismissal for COVID safety

However, the spokesperson also confirmed that the original plan had included the possibility of dismissal for staff that TfL felt were taking too much time off for COVID-related reasons.

The plan was to revert back to our pre-COVID absence policy where if there’s a lot of absence it can be referred to a manager. Dismissal is an option, but it’s a last-resort option. But in light of our discussions with the unions yesterday, we’re not going to go ahead with the proposal to go back to that, so we’re going to be sticking with our absence policy as it is currently.

TfL advised that under current rules, now to be extended, longer absences for self-isolation and other COVID-related reasons would not result in a referral to management.

A swift victory for the unions and their supporters who helped amplify their outrage at TfL’s plan to punish workers for absence for infection or contact that they are routinely and inevitably exposed to in the course of their duties.

At least 69 TfL workers had died of coronavirus by February this year, many of them from ethnic minorities.

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14 comments

  1. Ah don’t you just love the medieval attitude of employers on Plague Island? Truly we have morons in charge at every level. Time for a revolution methinks! ⛽🔥. 🇬🇧🐂💩

    1. Spot the difference, if you can! 1791 and 2021 the same calibre of crooked wealthy criminals sucking the poor dry! It won’t be long before Paupers don’t even get a Pine Box! Just the Black Bin Lory doing the Plague rounds with a brass bell on the top chiming at death march pace, “Bring out yer Dead”! People leaving their dead out on the pavement, for the Early Rounds, saves getting up so damned early!
      https://youtu.be/TUt4DfGnyJQ
      It is difficult to imagine that we are still taking the same shit from the same CNUTS 230 years later! How long does it actually take a human to realise that s/he is under the control of a very small number of people, held hostage by unnecessary Capital, Religion, Borders, Labels, etc, etc, etc! Perhaps only a very small number of Humans choose Freedom over Domination!

      1. Skellynelly….Religious belief as inspired many to be activists in the working-class movement. “Taken as read “Love thy brother as yourself” would and has inspired many from my Irish Catholic background to fight against the soul destroying philosophy of capitalism and to have been active in the formation of the early Labour movnent in Britain.In a small town in Lancashire a plaque is laid to the right hand of the alter in St Mary’s Catholic church in Haslingdon “To commemorate the work of Micheal Davitt in freeing the working class in Lancashire and especially the cotton industry.Now understand that many people of faith are inspired to create a better world and are not confined by religious beliefs.Remember that the vast majority of the population on this planet believe in religion whether it is Buddhism,Judaism,Islam,Hindu or the one and a half billion Catholics that are in every country in the world. “Make bridges not borders “must be the word for a better world and you will find that our thinking is not a lot different and our goals are the same comrade.

      2. That is all well and good, Joseph, each to their own, a Bad Human is a Bad Human whether a Buddhist, Jew, Muslim, Hindu or Catholic, the point was more that nothing has changed including religious indoctrination, most humans are indoctrinated by a small handful of people and kept under control by label division.
        My personal ‘beef’ with religion is the indoctrination of children against their will. I carry my own, deep scars from that indoctrination. If religion was banned to certificate 18+, it would be gone in less than 2 decades, because no adult minded person could read any of the beautiful books, that religions were carved out of, and believe it as ‘gospel’.
        It is all fear based, change by fear, look at what Starmer has done to Labour brought a Culture of fear into Labour, to force change, as soon as you have to frighten a Man, Woman or Child into submission you deserve no respect, no matter how subtly/violently/forcefully you plant the seeds of fear.
        Any how, Joseph you have your right to practice religion and I have my right to reject religion, I respect yours, I hope you can mine.

  2. Meanwhile, Starmer is spouting the most unbelievable crap on the 10 O’Clock News, doing his best to channel Joe Biden. “Labour is back”, apparently, on the back of a pathetically small majority. The BBC evidently approve. They made it the lead item.

    This, together with the rumour I’m hearing from a reliable source that Public Health England are issuing a memo to dentists to make preparations for more lockdowns from October this year to March ’22, all too believably, is kinda bumming out my day…

    1. It was also the Orwellian BBC that launched a Luntzspeak Assault on Galloway, straight out of 2015 to 2020. There is more than meets the eye here, if the British People don’t do something to secure our votes, Apartheid Keith WILL be the next PM, however we voted! Then we are Truly and Royally Fucked!
      It’s not that long ago when an extremely unpopular candidate just could not be arsed to do TV interviews and debates, even if they were all made into pleasantries for him, while the Blatantly Popular Candidate gets the full on Orwellian treatment and attends all invites in between Campaigning to massive crowds everyday, while the Inbred Buffoon gets chased out of town (reminds you of someone?) and has to sneak into Studios via the back doors to avoid the crowds awaiting the Popular Candidate. Who then loses the GE! No matter what the situation I simply refuse to believe that Britons are actually so stupid collectively as to let that happen, PM Inbred Buffoon’s First words to a huge venue filled with about 30 Orwellian “Reporters” was “Well my friends, good morning everybody. My friends, well we did it. We did it. We pulled it off didn’t we – we pulled it off!” Interesting choice of words for someone who most likely has old chum Frank Luntz on speed dial!

      1. Skellynelly….We pulled it off “.sounds like another scam but this time it was setting up George Galloway instead of the AS scam.I think someone in HQ knows how to win an election and a little bit of victimhood mixed with Im not political” actually works if you flood the town with mps ,,councillors and activists just before the election..I wonder who is the strategists in this because it is definitely not our lawyer knight?

      2. Apparently George was not invited to a BBC candidate’s debate because he demanded that the injustices of Palestine be on the agenda.

      3. That would not surprise me one bit, seems like Zionist Mossad’s Sayanim are moving in on all our Comms, Corps, Orgs. I just seen the new Article about the EHRC who for example, overrun with White Tory Zionists and the way this BBC “reporter” speaks Luntzspeak, makes it look like Luntzspeak is part of BBC training!
        Should really change the name to ZBC!
        https://twitter.com/i/status/1410210369776332800

    2. Timfrom ….Dillussion is the opium of Politicians “,but even by right wing Labour standards the election of another right wing misfit in Batley just ushers in the collapse of the Labour party.My granfather always said that lie to everybody if you like ,but when you actually start to believe your own lies then that is the road to ruin” ..Starmer is dragging the Labour party to abandon comrades and throw in the towel for neo liberal alliances.He has been driven to serious clinical dillussional behaviour and should be seeking medical help whilst still free at the point of delivery..no thanks to his policy and beliefs…!

  3. Off topic…

    Just watch Ben Bradshaw’s turn on Newsnight this evening.

    Just watch it…

  4. Well we have all thought we were going backwards with this right wing revival,but it now seems that the Labour government after the war was just a blip in the onward march of the right wing.Prepare for the workhouses,debters prison and the fear of the knock on the door of the doctor collecting their bills.Exageration you may think?….ITs inevitable if we only have the unions to fall back on and after yesterday’s result no longer any Opposition party…!

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