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

10:16 13 January 2014

Upminster station

Upminster station


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.


Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:26
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan addresses the Conservative Party conference at Manchester Central. Picture Stefan Rousseau/PA Images

Parent power could see schools providing childcare for the whole working day and holidays if enough families request it.

Yesterday, 16:15
Rob Bull, pilot killed in the Chigwell air crash

The operators of a plane which crashed in Chigwell killing the two pilots on board have paid tribute to the pair in a heartfelt statement.

Yesterday, 10:32
Straight Road, Romford

A man in his 40s was stabbed in Straight Road, Romford, last night.

Yesterday, 12:21
Adesina was stabbed in Padbury Court, Bethnal Green

Stabbed teenager Joel Adesina spent his final hours in a weaponised gang wearing face coverings and fleeing at least one man with a knife, the Old Bailey heard.

Yesterday, 10:00
Cllr Ross Hatfull says Redbridge Council will ask people to move out of the borough so they do not become homeless, such is the extent of the housing crisis. Photo: Ian West/PA Archive/PA Images

Havering Council has the lowest acceptance rate of homelessness of any London borough.

Yesterday, 07:15
Train passing level crossing

A victim of sexual assault who was “shaken” by an incident on a train is calling for more action in deterring sexual offences on public transport following TfL’s announcement of a 32per cent increase in London.

Thu, 16:16
Robert Bull, the pilot killed after his plane crashed in Gravel Lane, Chigwell

Tributes have been paid to a Hornchurch pilot tragically killed alongside his colleague when their plane crashed into a field and burst into flames.

Thu, 07:37
Havering Council has halted the demolition of the Mecca Bingo hall in Hornchurch

A dramatic turn of events has seen the demolition of the Mecca Bingo hall in Hornchurch halted by Havering Council.

Most read news

News from your area


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


You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Digital Edition

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

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder