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All LU routes to be hit by January station staff strike

London Underground passengers are facing more disruption in the New Year as two unions announced a strike of all station staff on 8 January.

RMT and TSSA will instruct station and revenue workers on all London Underground routes not to book on for shifts for 24 hours, starting on 8 January at 6pm.

The unions said they were protesting at the safety risk caused by closing ticket offices and sacking nearly 900 frontline workers.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT, said: “With the constant overcrowding on stations and platforms it is only a matter of time before there is a major tragedy if we don’t act decisively.

“Our dispute is about taking action to haul back the cuts machine and put safety back at the top of the agenda.”

Recently, a leaked report by TfL showed that an accident at Canning Town in May, where a passenger’s foot was trapped between the train and platform, was made worse because the control room had switched to unstaffed operation.

London TravelWatch reviewed the ticket office closures at the request of mayor Sadiq Khan and concluded that they would need to be accompanied by more proactive safety measures. London Underground has now promised to implement the recommendations.

In response to the latest new, Steve Griffiths, chief operating officer for London Underground, said: “We will continue working with the unions as well as implementing the independent recommendations made by the London TravelWatch review to ensure our customers feel safe, fully supported and able to access the right assistance at all times.

“We would encourage the unions to work with us on this process rather than threatening strike action.”

Strike action was backed by 85% of RMT members and 68% of TSSA members.

(Image c. Yui Mok from PA Wire)

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Jerry Alderson   23/12/2016 at 14:37

For the avoidance of doubt, because some of the media have struggled with the term "job losses", the unions are protesting about jobs that were axed many months ago (following a large number of staff applying for voluntary redundancy). These are jobs that the RMT wants recreated. This is not about jobs under threat of being axed. With ASLEF's head essentially claiming that DOO should be abolished it seems that the unions want to create a large number of new jobs in the rail industry (something that is happening quite naturally because rail patronage continues to grow). With the large number of stirkes by RMT members at the moment and likely in the next few years over DOO/DCO, some cynics might say that the RMT needs these jobs re-created to give it more members and some useful funds. Does anyone know what proportion of rail workers are union members? I guess that it is very close to 100% but it's not something I ever see mentioned.

Stuart   23/12/2016 at 17:03

This strike, strike, strike drumbeat by RMT is likely to be self-defeating. Passengers are learning not to rely on rail service in favour of other modes of travel. I know of 2 families that have already purchased cars for commuting, and I'm sure there are many more. Even if all the threatened strikes are called off these are lost customers, to say nothing of the environmental damage being done.

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