TSSA accuses Mayor of being "too ready to gamble with safety"
A second trade union is joining members of the RMT Union in planning to hold two 48 hour tube strikes during February.
The TSSA - Transport Salaried Staffs' Association, which represents 30,000 administrative, managerial, professional and technical workers - has voted to strike in the dispute over the Mayor's plans to close all 260 Tube ticket offices and axe nearly 1,000 jobs.
Its members voted by a majority of 58.8% to join two 48 hours stoppages with the RMT next week between February 4 and 6 and the following week from February 11 to 13.
Announcing the result of the secret ballot which had a 52% turnout, union general secretary Manuel Cortes called on the Mayor to end his self imposed boycott of talking to rail union leaders.
"It is now time for Boris to sit down with his staff representatives and negotiate a sensible deal which will protect the safety and security of the travelling public as well as the long term interests of our members.
"We think he is too ready to gamble with safety by abolishing permanent station supervisors in this closure plan, a plan which stands on its head his promise in 2008 to keep open every ticket office."
Talks between LU management and the unions resume at ACAS today, January 28. Last week the union leader accused the Mayor of tying the hands of his negotiating team because of their refusal to budge on any of the main issues.
The RMT is also claiming 'massive' support for the action with 77% of votes cast being in favour of industrial action. London Underground management say the low turnout on the ballot of just 30% does not give the union a mandate to hold the strikes.
Richard Tracey, Conservative London Assembly Member for Wandsworth and Merton, said:
“Yet again, militant RMT bosses are blackmailing workers and businesses with strike misery, which is backed by just 31% of their membership. If these strikes go ahead, it will be our workers who don’t get paid if they can’t get to work and businesses who will miss out on vital trade. RMT seems to be doing everything in its power to block innovation and progress on our tube network, while making sure their members pockets are lined with £46K salaries to drive trains, some of which are driverless capable, and bribes just to do their job on public holidays. Closing ticket offices will save £50 million every year and put staff around stations where they can serve the public effectively.”
January 28, 2014