5 September 2018
RMT Press Office:
RMT to fight Arriva Rail London's proposed 88 Ticket Office Closures and Widespread De-staffing of Stations
Rail union RMT said today it will fight with every tool at its disposal plans just announced that would axe ticket offices and station staffing across the capital with dire consequences for safety, services and accessibility
Arriva Rail London have proposed the closure of booking/ticket offices across the London Overground network. 88 stations are involved in the proposal and the redeployment of staff will impact across the workforce, and the grading structure as a whole.
In a safety critical industry the grading structure exists to ensure that responsibilities are clear and carried out to protect both staff and the travelling public in a dangerous environment such as the railway.
At present there are 363 full time equivalent vacancies across the network, with the shortfall being managed through the use of agency staff and overtime which is entirely inappropriate in a safety critical industry.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
"These are appalling cuts and closures across the London Overground network that would have dire consequences for safety, services and accessibility. RMT fears that the proposed closure of ticket offices and the application of a multi-disciplinary approach to existing grades will be used to continue to manage the shortfall in safety critical staff employed to the detriment of both the travelling public and staff.
"Furthermore, the removal of ticket offices directly impacts other grades in that one of the most common safety incidents faced by staff are physical/verbal assaults arising from ticket related matters. In these incidents, the ticket office can provide both a point of refuge for staff and also a point to which the passenger can be referred to discuss any issue but where the member of staff is safe. Assaults on rail staff have increased by 27% in the past five years.
"RMT has already highlighted the current issues surrounding staffing levels, lone working, crime in and around stations, points of refuge, crowd control, major events, noise levels, repetitive strain, equalities considerations, PPE and facilities.
"RMT believes it is essential that early opposition to these proposals is made across the 30 boroughs affected and the union is approaching MP's and Councillors today to start building political support. We will be fighting these plans tooth and nail with every tool at our disposal"