RMT Condemns “Death Trap” Proposals For Tube As Part Of Tory Mayor Boris Johnson’s Cuts Plan

TUBE UNION RMT today slammed proposed changes to London Underground train operations that the union has warned would turn station platforms into “death traps.”

Proposals submitted to RMT safety reps at the Trains Health and Safety Council (THSC), and titled the Operation Effectiveness Programme (OEP), would involve:

  • Using the planned cuts to station and platform staff as an excuse for trying to bulldoze through unsafe working practices on drivers.
  • Forcing drivers to use trains with defective mirrors and monitors without the assistance of platform staff to ensure that platforms are clear of passengers with the risk that passengers could get dragged under trains.
  • Forcing drivers to “detrain” (evacuate) stalled trains without station staff assistance and without the support of station staff carrying emergency lighting and loudhailers. Drivers would be forced to evacuate up to 1000 people, including passengers in wheelchairs and children in buggies, without assistance.
  • Forcing drivers to “notch-back” (reverse) in the event of a platform overrun without the current requirement to change ends.

RMT today blamed London Underground and the Tory Mayor Boris Johnson for trying to ram through unsafe working practices as the real consequences for public safety of axing hundreds of station and platform staff to save money become clear.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

“Boris Johnson is the Tory politician with the most power in this country today and if you want to know what a Cameron government would be all about you only have to look at the attack on passenger safety that is being unleashed on the tube as part of the Mayors multi-billion pound cuts plans.

“We warned that the cuts to station staff would have lethal consequences right across the London Underground and these plans to try and force drivers to accept unsafe working practices ram that point home loud and clear. RMT will fight these proposals all the way.”

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