18 February 2015
RMT Press Office
RMT Bakerloo Line activists, alongside community groups, will be taking the fight against staff cuts and the closure of tube ticket offices to the public next Wednesday – 25th February - between 8am and 10am and 4pm and 6pm hours with leafleting and petition signing outside Edgware Road (Bakerloo Line) station.
With the London Mayor's ticket office closure programme now underway, RMT is ramming home the point that increasing passenger demand, forecast to continue to surge in the coming years, combined with increased levels of violent incidents against both passengers and staff are exposing Boris Johnson's cuts programme for the reckless gamble that it is.
New research issued today by the Labour Group on the GLA shows a 44% increase in staff assaults since 2009 as cuts leave tube workers dangerously isolated. The recent stabbing of a customer assistant at Lancaster Gate was yet another warning ignored by the Mayor as he bulldozes ahead with his cuts programme. Details of the research are set out below.
The union is also be reinforcing the point that the closure of ticket offices, and the associated loss of jobs, discriminates against those groups who specifically require assistance to access the tube network, effectively turning the Underground into a no-go zone for some of the most vulnerable members of our society.
Meanwhile, RMT is continuing to raise safety, operational and staffing issues associated with the Mayor's drive to introduce 24 hour weekend tube running.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said;
“The fight against LUL ticket office closures and job cuts goes on and is widely supported by the public. The new research from the Labour Group on the GLA shows that assaults have nearly doubled in just five years and it is RMT members who are left vulnerable and isolated and at constant risk of attack as the cuts are driven through.
“The recent stabbing of a customer assistant at Lancaster Gate was just millimetres away from a potential fatality and yet those in charge, from the Mayor down, continue to ignore the brutal reality that confronts the tube workforce every single day of the week. These cuts have lethal consequences and RMT’s fight to stop them goes on.
"The event at Edgware Road in one of a number where RMT is uniting with the community to draw attention to the access and safety risks associated with this ill-conceived cuts programme at a time of surging passenger demand and increasing levels of violence.
"RMT will continue to oppose the ridiculous plan for ticket office closures and staff cuts and we will continue to keep the pressure on the mayor and LUL to put customers first."