RMT welcomes cross-party support for campaign against tube station job cuts

TUBE UNION RMT has welcomed the tabling of a motion at tomorrow’s London Mayor’s Question Time, in the names of Labour’s Val Shawcross and the Lib Dem’s Caroline Pidgeon, calling on Boris Johnson to review plans to axe 800 station staff jobs and to close or slash the opening times of 245 ticket offices.

The motion also calls on Boris Johnson to “reaffirm reasonable and safe staffing levels right across the London Underground network to ensure passengers continue to receive excellent service…” RMT understands that it will also be supported by Green Party members of the GLA as senior London politicians recognise the combined damage to safety and quality of passenger service that would be unleashed by the cuts.

The debate on current cuts plans comes just at the point that there are growing warnings that there could be much worse to come for London Underground as the government takes an axe to the transport budget. In an unprecedented move, TfL today warned of the dangers of allowing trains to continue to run on signaling and equipment dating back to the 1920’s and 1930’s – the first time that TfL have come out and backed RMT’s safety concerns over the tube cuts programme.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

“RMT welcomes the cross-party support for the campaign to stop the axing of station staff and ticket offices which we have repeatedly warned will turn the tube into a mugger’s paradise as well as having a corrosive effect on the quality of passenger service.

“Boris Johnson has said that he will stand up for Londoners against the cuts and now he has the chance to prove it by accepting this motion.

“The Mayor and TfL can’t have it both ways. There’s no point issuing dire warnings in full page newspaper adverts that back RMT’s safety case against the cuts and then the next day confirming that safety-critical jobs will be axed. The Mayor and TfL need to stand up and be counted.

“Meanwhile, we note that Boris Johnson’s Tory Party colleagues are once again banging the drum for the lethal and ignorant proposal for driverless trains in another question to the Mayor tomorrow. That just proves that no job is safe on London Underground as the old-school Thatcherites crawl out of the woodwork.”

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