27 January 2017
RMT Press Office:
RMT confirms further strike dates in Tube station staffing dispute
Following a failure to make significant progress at intensive ACAS talks in the London Underground stations staffing disputes RMT’s National Executive Committee has taken the decision to call further action and instructs ALL LUL STATION & REVENUE members:
Not to book on for any duty booking on from shifts commencing:
i) After 18:00 on Sunday 5th February 2017 until 09:59 on Monday 6th February 2017.
ii) After 10:00 on Tuesday 7th February 2017 until 00:59 on Wednesday 8th February 2017.
Further strike dates to be taken in March are to be announced once they are determined and agreed.
At the heart of the dispute is Tube station staffing and safety. Over 3000 RMT station staff members were balloted for action over the impact on safety from the axing of nearly 900 front-line workers alongside the closure of tube ticket offices. RMT says that the cuts have left safety on a knife edge with the incidents at Canning Town and North Greenwich last year, and repeated reports of dangerous overcrowding on stations and platforms, throwing the spotlight on dangers which are being worsened by the cuts process.
The on-going overtime ban, which has seriously exposed the massive deficiencies in station staffing numbers and which has led to a spate of station closures, also remains in place with the union maintaining that the fact that stations can only be staffed-up on the basis of overtime exposes the bogus claims that there is no money available to make the serious increases in numbers that are at the heart of the RMT demands.
Tube management themselves have conceded that the 838 job cuts, imposed by the previous Mayor, have had a devastating impact on passenger safety and that numbers need to be increased. At this point LU have yet to come forward with serious and coherent plans that address the gap and which can be signed off as addressing the safety issues by union reps on the ground who understand better than anyone the toxic and lethal impact of surging demand against a backdrop of fewer, safety-critical staff. Top tube bosses have accepted in leaked minutes that the RMT case for the jobs to be put back onto the stations is unarguable.
The cuts have left station control rooms, the eyes and ears of the network, unstaffed leading to a serious threat to passengers at a time of heightened safety and security alert. The incidents at Canning Town and North Greenwich last year have exposed just how serious those threats are, those safety warnings have been reinforced by daily reports of intolerable overcrowding and pressures on stations and services right across all routes.
Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said:
“RMT will not stand by while safety is compromised on London Underground off the back of cash-led cuts to staffing levels that the union has warned would have a serious, lasting and corrosive impact for staff and passengers alike. That is why our members are taking this further action.
“RMT members on the London Underground stations see day in and day out the toxic impact of the job cuts programme and they are reporting back that it is horrific. It has now also been shown that at management level there is agreement with the union that the cuts have been a disastrous mistake.
“With the constant overcrowding on stations and platforms it is only a matter of time before there is a major tragedy if we don’t act decisively. Our dispute is about taking action to haul back the cuts machine and put safety back at the top of the agenda.
“The union remains available for further serious talks.”