Search

London Underground staff vote to strike against Tube station ticket office closures

10:16 13 January 2014

Upminster station

Upminster station

Archant

London Underground staff could strike in protest against controversial plans to close Tube station ticket offices and axe hundreds of posts.

The District Line (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)The District Line (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Every office on the District Line in Havering would close as part of the plans, which will save Transport for London (TfL) more than £40million a year.

The authority is trying to avoid compulsory redundancies but more than three quarters of RMT union members who voted were in favour of a strike and even more wanted other industrial action.

General secretary Bob Crow said: “The staff remaining are going to be forced through the humiliating and degrading experience of re-applying for their own jobs – the same staff who have been hailed as heroes when the tube has faced emergency situations.

“That is a kick in the teeth.”

He claimed the changes would make the Tube a “criminal’s paradise” and affect vulnerable and elderly passengers.

Another rail union, the TSSA, will start its own ballot next week and executives will decide what action to take.

Manuel Cortes, general secretary, highlighted London Mayor Boris Johnson’s U-turn on his previous promise to protect ticket offices.

He said: “It was the Mayor who came into office in 2008 with a firm pledge to keep open every ticket office on the grounds of keeping passengers safe and secure at all times.”

Transport for London’s changes are some of the biggest ever attempted on the network.

More ticket machines will be put into entrance halls when 260 ticket offices are shut by 2015, and staff stationed elsewhere in stations.

New visitor information centres will be opened in major central London stations and some will see a boost in staff.

The Central, Piccadilly, Victoria and Jubilee lines and part of the Northern line will also be part of the “night Tube”.

The changes will result in the loss of around 750 posts, although London Underground is trying to limit redundancies.

Phil Hufton, London Underground chief operating officer, said there will be more staff in ticket halls and on platforms to help customers and keep them safe.

He added: “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 will be a job for everyone at LU who wants to work for us and be flexible.”

A London Underground spokesman said fewer people were buying tickets from offices in recent years and staff would be less “remote” from customers after the changes.

Only 30 per cent of RMT members balloted took part in the vote, he added.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 15:02
Damyns Hall Aerodrome in Upminster have agreed to demolish one of their hangers to build a new one futher away from the road.

The destruction of an aircraft hanger that has been the subject of a High Court battle appears to be imminent.

Yesterday, 15:00
Havering Council has invited us to visit Crowlands Primary School - an already expanded school - to see the benefits of larger schools.

Claims by a teaching union that expansions are turning schools into “factories” have been rejected by education chiefs who say big doesn’t have to mean bad.

Yesterday, 12:00
Dycorts School pupils Harley Frakes, seven, Jacqueline Fosu,  11, Trinity Brown, seven, and Ellie Tear, 11, with actors from the Queen's Theatre production of Little Red Riding Hood

A classic fairy tale which has captured the imagination of children for generations has been given a new spin to entertain youngsters this Easter.

Yesterday, 09:00
Actress and Comedian Meera Syal at the launch of the new Life Study Centre in King George Hospital, Goodmayes

The centre of a new study, tracking the progress of more than 80,000 babies born to mothers in Redbridge and Havering, opened last week in Goodmayes.

Most read news

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder

The lights went off and the cameras came out.

Call it the X Factor, star quality, even ‘something’ but whatever ‘it’ is Ed’s not got it, says the PM.

The Ukip leader doesn’t want to be too scripted for the seven-way televised encounter.