Latest Rail News

23.04.14

Tube strikes planned over ticket office closures

London Underground (LU) staff are to strike for five days over potential cuts to jobs, ticket offices and safety, after long-running talks failed to settle the dispute. 

The planned walk-out will start at 9pm on Monday, 28 April for two days and further action will take place from 9pm on 5 May for three days.

It comes after London mayor Boris Johnson said that all 260 ticket offices in stations will be closed with the loss of 960 jobs. In a statement sent to RTM, the tube union RMT said that discussions had been “wrecked” by a combination of “management intransigence” and the introduction of “additional measures that actually worsened the original toxic package”. 

Mick Cash, RMT acting general secretary, said: “While talks continue today it does no one any favours that the TFL management have resorted to spinning politically-motivated lies and smears at the same time as they have reneged on their promises for a full and thorough station by station review of the cuts and closures. RMT is demanding that that process be put back on track with the cuts juggernaut halted.” 

But Mike Brown, managing director of LU, stated that the sensible thing to do is to keep talking. He added that during an intensive period of talks, spanning eight weeks and 40 meetings, hosted by ACAS, LU made highly significant changes to its proposals to reflect the feedback of staff and unions, so that a Customer Service Supervisor will staff smaller, local stations at all times. This would mean no supervisors need reapply for jobs, however, all applications for voluntary redundancy would be honoured and LU will look to ensure that no staff loses pay. 

“There will be no compulsory redundancies and there is a job for every member of staff who wants to be part of LU’s future and is willing to be flexible,” said Brown. “All four trades unions have been invited for further daily meetings with LU this week. One union, the RMT, has demanded that all modernisation be stopped and have threatened strike action, having given no credible alternative suggestions to deal with a changing world.” 

RMT’s Mick Cash states, though, that the union has had “no option” but to put on further strike action in the expectation that the management will not halt the “dangerous cuts and plans”. 

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