Latest Rail News

13.01.14

Tube workers to strike over ticket office closure plans

Rail staff are to strike for four days against plans to cut 750 staff posts in London Underground’s new vision for the future.

Union RMT confirmed two 48-hour strikes, from 4-6 February and 11-13 February. Of members balloted, 30% voted in favour of strike action.

TfL’s plans would see the majority of ticket offices close, citing a lack of use by passengers. The company has reiterated that every Tube station will be staffed, and that “there will be a job for everyone who wants to continue to be part of our organisation and who is ready to be flexible”.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “RMT members on London Underground have voted by a massive majority for both strike action and action short of a strike in a dispute which is wholly about cash-led cuts plans that would see the axing of nearly a thousand safety critical jobs and the closure of ticket offices at a time when the tube network is under growing pressure from customer demand and needs more staff and not less to ensure safe and efficient operation.

“These cuts would hit the vulnerable, the elderly, those with disabilities and women the hardest. De-staffing stations, with supervisors running operations three stops down the line on an iPad, would turn the tube system into a criminals’ paradise where those with violence and robbery on their minds are given a clear run.”

But Phil Hufton, LU’s chief operating officer, said: “All Tube stations will remain staffed at all times when services are operating, and we’ll be introducing a 24-hour service at weekends during 2015. In future, there will be more staff in ticket halls and on platforms to help customers buy the right ticket and keep them safe and secure.

“We’re committed to working with unions and staff to implement changes to station staffing without compulsory redundancies and we’ve been clear that there’ll be a job for everyone at LU who wants to work for us and be flexible. I urge our trade union colleagues to work with us to shape the future of the Tube.

“I want this to be a real consultation and I’m determined to listen to all views expressed. However, threatening industrial action will be seen by hard-working Londoners and businesses as totally unnecessary given all the commitments we have made.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Image c. TfL

Comments

Abergaveny   17/01/2014 at 16:57

So many times I have lost money down those “Black Hole self service ticket machines”. This lack of Ticket supervisor on platforms will generate millions of £$E worth of income for “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels penny pinching RTM”, and will only promote daytime robbery by RMT, as customers will simply have to walk away from ticket machines that short change them or even worse.

Ballast In The Blood   20/01/2014 at 23:36

What a surprise to hear Bob Crow talking complete sh*t, as per usual. He states that "RMT members on London Underground have voted by a massive majority for both strike action and action short of a strike", when only 30% of members voted in favour of strike action. So, why does he decide to call a strike, when the facts are that a minority of union members (less than a third), have actually voted to strike? I'm sure Bob is feeling the pain of the 'cuts', when he is getting paid a six figure sum! Right you are, Bob. Perhaps you should just stick to vegetation clearance...

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