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Boris gambles with Tube safety by axing key staff

22 November 2013

One in two Station Supervisors sacked in ticket office closures

The London Mayor was accused of gambling with Tube safety today after it was revealed that half of key safety supervisors will be axed under his plan to close all ticket offices by 2015.

Figures from the TSSA rail union showed that 60% of station supervisors will be axed and 45% of station managers will be sacked under the planned shutdown of all 268 ticket offices across the capital.

"We are talking about the key personnel who have to organise station evacuations in the event of an emergency," said union leader Manuel Cortes.

"Boris wants to replace these essential staff with mobile supervisors who are meant to cover four or five stations at the same time-a recipe for chaos in the event of a real emergency.

"Just how are they meant to get to another station if the line is closed by an accident or, even worse, a terrorist threat?

"How on earth can they be mobile if the whole system is in lockdown?

"The Mayor is gambling with the safety of the Tube by axing these vital jobs to meet cuts imposed by his Old Etonian chum George Osborne."

Under figures disclosed to the union, the number of station supervisors will drop from 1771 to 971, a cut of 60%. The number of duty and group station managers will fall from 238 to 97, a cut of 45%.

"This is not the time for the Mayor to adopt his usual back of the envelope Cavalier approach to policy making. We want him to think seriously over this savage cull of trained safety critical staff," added the union leader.

The union is launching a joint campaign with the Labour Party aimed at reversing a decision which they say is a complete contradiction of the Mayor's manifesto pledge in 2008 to keep open all ticket offices.

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