1 February 2017
RMT Press Office:
Tube Union RMT repeats call for reversal of staffing cuts after major incident at London Bridge.
Tube union RMT today re-iterated the need for a reversal to the Tube station staffing cuts in light of a major fire-related incident at London Bridge yesterday .
The fire, underneath an escalator, prompted a full evacuation, and only the vigilance and professionalism of the staff at the scene prevented tragedy .
RMT safety reps have reported that the initial cause of the fire appears to be a build-up of grease. It's not a co-incidence that maintenance regimes of major assets, including escalators, have been cut and this kind of incident was predicted by RMT safety reps as a consequence of cash-led attacks on the inspection and maintenance frequencies.
The union has repeatedly warned that with even London Underground management ruthlessly condemning the job cuts programme , it is only a matter of time before we are faced with a tragedy because of a lack of staff. RMT says that the London Bridge incident is just another wake up call to the Mayor and his officials.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said
"This incident fully justifies RMT’s current dispute on safety on the tube. If this incident had happened at one of the stations that has seen staff cut to the bone the outcome may have been very different. The fact that it occurred at London Bridge meant that on this occasion there was an adequate number of staff on hand to put in place a model evacuation procedure. With the cuts to maintenance regimes on escalators and other assets it is foolish in the extreme to run these kind of risks across the tube network.
“The London Bridge incident reinforces the need for all stations to be fully staffed at all times by trained and equipped staff. As we prepare to mark the 30th anniversary of the Kings Cross fire, which began on the escalators, RMT repeats the call for eternal vigilance to prevent any repeat of that disaster. RMT will not stand by while ruthless cuts made by former mayor Boris Johnston seriously threaten the safety of Londoners . "