03 February 2014

Tube strikes

The RMT and TSSA have called two 48-hour Tube strikes in protest over staff cuts and closing all the station ticket offices.

While a strike is going to be highly inconvenient for a lot of people (myself included), the rhetoric from TfL needs further scrutiny:

Despite two poorly-supported ballots for industrial action, which saw only around 30 per cent of RMT and TSSA members balloted voting for strike action, and around 70 per cent either not voting or voting no, the union leaderships have nonetheless instructed their members to carry out four days of strike action in February. 

The turnout was about 40% - higher than the last Mayoral election... and only about 24% of all Londoners voted for Boris even when second preferences are added in!

  • Every Tube station will be visibly staffed and controlled by LU staff during operating hours;
  • There will be a job for everyone who wants to continue to be part of our organisation and who is ready to be flexible;
  • Any operational changes will be done without compulsory redundancies where we can collaborate to make change happen.
 However, will there be less staff at each station? What if people can't be "flexible" for whatever reason? They've mentioned no compulsory redundancies, but there will almost certainly be voluntary ones.

"All Tube stations will remain staffed and controlled at all times when services are operating, and we'll be introducing a 24-hour service at weekends during 2015."

There will be job cuts on the Tube... and they want to run more trains with less people?

"In future, there will be more staff in ticket halls and on platforms to help customers buy the right ticket, plan their journeys and to keep them safe and secure."

One hopes that the staff will be able to be safe and secure, especially late on Saturday nights.

The trend of ticket sales away from ticket offices has surged over recent years and today less than three per cent of all Tube journeys involve a visit to a ticket office. 

That's true - but less than 3% is still a noticeable proportion. Less than 3% of school pupils need Special Education Needs staff and no-one is proposing to get rid of those.

I don't like Bob Crow (it's worth remembering Labour ended their affiliation with the RMT in 2004), but Boris Johnson isn't much better.

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