17 November 2022
RMT Press Office
Transport union RMT, will mark the 35-year anniversary King’s Cross Underground fire by calling for an end to job cuts on the Tube.
A disastrous fire broke out on 18 November 1987 that claimed the lives of 31 people with 100 more taken to hospital to treat injuries.
As a result of the public inquiries that followed, fire safety on the Tube was completely overhauled and this included regulations establishing minimum staffing levels for Sub-Surface Railway stations in order to help with evacuation in the event of fire or other catastrophic incidents.
These staff subsequently played a vital role in evacuating passengers from the Underground during the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London.
In spite of this, London Underground managers are pressing forward with imposing new rosters that reduce the number of staff who will be available in the capital’s tube stations, cutting 600 station staff roles, including at King’s Cross station.
RMT members at four stations- Victoria Centre (Euston and Green Park), King's Cross, Heathrow (Heathrow Terminals, Hatton Cross, Hounslow West), and the mobile Special Requirements Team (SRT) will start an overtime ban on November 20 – 26 and will take strike action on November 25 against job cuts.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said:
“The King’s Cross fire was a pivotal moment in the history of the Underground and mass transit in Britain and in the wake of the disaster, a completely new safety critical culture was built in which the vital role that staff play was fully recognised, on the basis that such a thing should never happen again.
"In pressing on with their plans to cut more station staff jobs, London Underground’s managers are making a historic error and unpicking the work that dates back to 1987. RMT will mark another anniversary of this tragedy by continuing to vigorously stand up against job cuts, taking strike action where we need to."
Notes for editors:
• A demonstration will take place to support the strike action at from 08:00 @ Palestra 197 Blackfriars Rd, London SE1 8JZ(opposite Southwark Tube)
• London Underground managers are deleting 600 station staff roles and imposing new rosters that mean heavier workloads for fewer staff. 26 posts are being deleted at King’s Cross station.
• The Fire Precautions (Sub-surface Railway Stations) (England) Regulations 2009 dictate that ““(2) The periods of duty of members of staff must be so arranged as to secure that not less than two of them are present on duty in the premises at all times when members of the public have access to the premises.” These replace the Fire Precautions (Sub-surface Railway Stations) Regulations 1989 (S.I. 1989/1401; “the 1989 Regulations”), which set out the specific requirements as to fire precautions at sub-surface railway stations in the wake of the King’s Cross fire. The Fire Precautions (Sub-surface Railway Stations) (England) Regulations 2009 (legislation.gov.uk)