RMT union to bal­lot over tube strike ac­tion

Ter­ror threat sparks safety fears

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Amita Joshi amita.joshi@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A TER­ROR alert at North Green­wich has led Lon­don Un­der­ground’s union to bal­lot for strike ac­tion over safety fears as more staff are cut from con­trol rooms.

The Rail, Mar­itime and Trans­port Work­ers Union (RMT) con­firmed a bal­lot timetable for nearly 3,500 work­ers and said they are putting “safety right back at the top of the agenda”.

A to­tal of 873 jobs have been re­moved from sta­tions, rais­ing con­cerns over the safety of staff and com­muters at a time when Lon­don’s threat level has in­creased.

Mick Cash, RMT gen­eral sec­re­tary, said: “Lon­don Un­der­ground knows that it has com­pro­mised safety and cus­tomer ser­vice across its sta­tions by cut­ting jobs.

“A re­spon­si­ble em­ployer would re­verse the job cuts and put staff back into sta­tion con­trol rooms.

“If Lon­don Un­der­ground re­ally cares about pas­sen­gers it would re­verse the ticket of­fice clo­sure pro­gramme”.

He added: “The con­tin­u­ing im­pact of those cuts leaves us with no al­ter­na­tive but to move to a bal­lot for in­dus­trial ac­tion and the ter­ror alert at North Green­wich last week has con­firmed the ur­gency of the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion and the non­sense of ax­ing sta­tion staff.”

The news comes as armed po­lice have been de­ployed to pa­trol Tube sta­tions be­tween jobs for the first time.

It fol­lows an in­ci­dent where po­lice chased and ar­rested a man in Hol­loway Road when a “sus­pi­cious pack­age” was left on the Ju­bilee line on Thurs­day (Oc­to­ber 20).

Sta­tion staff mem­bers will bal­lot for strike ac­tion on Novem­ber 8.

Mr Cash said: “The union will be cam­paign­ing for a mas­sive yes vote in this bal­lot and we re­main avail­able for talks.”

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