Page last updated at 10:25 GMT, Wednesday, 31 March 2010 11:25 UK

Tube staff 'ageing', managers' document says

Tube train
The document called staff "ageing and entrenched"

Tube managers have described their workforce as "ageing and entrenched" with a "blinkered view of reality" in a document seen by BBC London.

The strategy document said London Underground (LU) managers need to "take on antiquated old practices" and be prepared to "ride out a strike".

LU director Richard Parry said it had "no real status" but were remarks made during a "middle management" meeting.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) called the document "scandalous".

Staff have blinkered view of reality protected from the recession
Notes from the strategy document

The revelations came a day after the RMT said it will hold a strike ballot over LU's plans to cut 800 jobs as part of a £16m-a-year savings plan.

The document, entitled Strategic Planning and Performance Day, which is dated 21 January, refers to staff as "ageing entrenched workforce".

It said: "Staff have blinkered view of reality protected from the recession".

The document added that LU had a "habit of giving into strikes" and that there was a need to "prepare management stakeholders to ride out a strike".

"Stakeholders understand the need to take on antiquated old practices".

It also said that "recession helps now is the time to make changes".

The document also said that LU "must plan for a strike" but was concerned that "there is a risk that when we really need political support it is withdrawn".

'Union bashing'

Mr Parry said the document contained remarks made during a "middle management" meeting and reflected "views which probably 2% of managers may hold".

He said: "I don't endorse those views and that's not what the LU management team is saying.

"This document was a shorthand for a working session that some managers had, to look at the future and the issues they had in front of them.

"It has no status, it has never been in front of LU directors or executive, it doesn't represent a plan at all."

He added that he knew Mayor of London Boris Johnson was "right behind the team at LU".

Mr Parry added: "The history of LU is you have to be sure that you have political support for the changes you are making."

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said the "damaging" part of the document was that it demonstrated that the recession was being used "to get rid of old practices".

He added the comment about "ageing" staff was confusing as LU had a "very young workforce".

Mr Crow added: "It's a union-bashing document and it's there to get around the trade unions. We think it's actually scandalous".

Print Sponsor

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