Unions claim ticket office cuts compromise safety
The tube looks set to be hit by another series of strikes in September after unions voted for industrial action. The RMT and TSSA unions have announced a strike will begin 6th September and further action will take place if their demands are not met.
Ex-Metronet staff will begin their first 24-hour strike at 5pm on September 6th. Other LUL grades (including station and revenue staff, operational managers, drivers and signallers) will start their strike at 9pm.
Similar action also set to start at the same times on Sunday October 3rd; Tuesday November 2nd, and Sunday November 28th.
An indefinite overtime ban for all LUL members of both unions will start at a minute after midnight on Monday September 6th.
The unions are protesting the 'potentially lethal attacks on staffing and safety standards' that they believe would result from the reduction in ticket-office opening hours.
As figures revealed that Boris Johnson’s planned jobs cull will result in the loss of 7,500 ticket-office hours every week, the RMT urged passengers to tell the Mayor to honour his election promise to keep ticket offices open.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today, “These shocking figures underline why RMT has told LUL that its plan to slash 800 Tube station staff is unacceptable. These cuts would leave stations and platforms unstaffed and would remove the very people who are trained to deal with emergencies. Our members have voted for strike action to defend their jobs and the safety of the Tube network, and we hope that Tube users will stand with us to demand that existing safety standards are not ripped to shreds.”
TfL categorically deny safety is being compromised. Howard Collins, LU's Chief Operating Officer, said: "It is simply not possible to go on with a situation where some ticket offices sell fewer than 10 tickets an hour. It is clear that passengers can be better served by getting staff out from behind the windows of under-used ticket offices. We need to change, but we will do so without compromising safety, without compulsory redundancies, and in a way that means all stations will continue to be staffed at all times and all stations with a ticket office will continue to have one. The weak mandate for strike action, which saw only around 35 per cent of TSSA members and less than a third of RMT members voting for a walkout, should resonate with the unions' leadership. These threatened strikes are in nobody's interest, and should not go ahead."
August 24th, 2010