SOME 10,000 members London Underground’s two biggest unions will begin a rolling series of strikes on September 6 against plans to axe 800 station and other staff and close ticket-offices, after RMT and TSSA members voted overwhelmingly for action to defend jobs and safety.
Ex-Metronet (maintenance and engineering) staff will begin their first 24-hour strike at 17:00 on September 6, with similar action also scheduled to begin at the same time on Sunday October 3; Tuesday November 2, and Sunday November 28.
Other LUL grades (including station and revenue staff, operational managers, drivers and signallers) will start their first 24-hour strike at 21:00 on Monday September 6, with similar action also set to start at the same time on Sunday October 3; Tuesday November 2, and Sunday November 28.
An indefinite overtime ban for all LUL members of both unions will start at a minute after midnight on Monday September 6. Timings and forms of action may also be varied.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said:
“LUL and the mayor must understand that the cuts they want to impose are unacceptable to our members and will undermine safety and service for the travelling public.
The mayor was elected on a promise of maintaining safe staffing levels and he is doing the opposite, planning to leave stations and platforms dangerously understaffed and threatening to turn the network into a muggers’ paradise.
We have already had potential disasters narrowly averted, with fires at Euston and Oxford Circus and a runaway train on the Northern Line, and Boris Johnson’s planned cuts would deal a potentially fatal blow to the ability to deal with emergencies.”
TSSA general secretary Gerry Doherty said:
“Boris Johnson may be prepared to go into the Olympic Games with a second-class Tube service when the eyes of the world will be on the capital: we are not.
We will defend a vital public service on which millions of people depend every day of their working lives.
We will not see jobs and services sacrificed to pay for the sins of the City of London and Wall Street.”
Notes to editors:
TfL plans to axe 800 station-staff jobs and to cut ticket-office opening times by 7,500 hours a week across the network.
Earlier this month potential disasters at Oxford Circus and Euston were averted when both stations were evacuated safely by trained and experienced station staff after they spotted smoke – and it these staff that the Mayor wants to cut.
A runaway engineering train came within seconds of crashing into a commuter train this month, yet TfL plans to halve safety-critical inspections of train brakes and other equipment from fortnightly to monthly to cut costs at the expense of safety.
TfL has admitted that the Tube network is still relying on infrastructure dating from the 1920s.