29 April 2014
With strike action solid this morning, tube union RMT reminded Mayor Boris Johnson of his repeated promises not to close tube ticket offices – broken promises that run right to the heart of the dispute.
Asked last year about his plans to close a number of ticket offices across London, Boris Johnson's spokesperson said:
"This Mayor takes his promises to Londoners extremely seriously. Every station that has a ticket office will continue to have one.”
The Mayor himself went even further telling the London Assembly that:
"The first and most important point to make is that no ticket offices will be closed, alright? They're not going to be closed...”
Pushed on this point he went on to say that:
"The answer to the number of ticket office closures is: nil."
As well as pin-pointing the broken promises at the heart of the dispute, RMT is also demanding a full investigation into what the union suspects is hundreds of thousands of pounds that have been spent on newspaper adverts and other politically-motivated propaganda designed to deflect public attention from the Mayor’s broken promises. Members of the RMT’s Parliamentary Group are backing that call.
RMT Acting General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“London Underground have dug themselves into an entrenched position and have refused to move one inch from their stance of closing every ticket office, in breach of the agreement reached previously through ACAS which enabled us to suspend the previous round of action and in flagrant violation of repeated promises from the London Mayor Boris Johnson that not a single ticket office would be closed on his watch.
“It is scandalous that Transport for London are blowing what we estimate to be hundreds of thousands of pounds on politically-motivated adverts and propaganda designed to deflect attention from Boris Johnson’s broken promises
“RMT could have recommended the suspension of this strike action if LU had responded positively to our proposal to halt the ticket office closures and job cuts, stopping the dire impact they would have the length and breadth of London Underground.
“As a consequence of the management stance, and the broken promises of Boris Johnson, the action has gone ahead and is solidly supported. RMT remains available for serious and meaningful talks around our alternative proposals.”