RMT union to ballot over tube strike action
Terror threat sparks safety fears
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.”