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Londoners Urged to Join Campaign Against Boris Tube Cuts

14 August 2013

A grassroots campaign is being launched tomorrow to mobilise public opposition to Boris Johnson's plans to axe 268 tube ticket offices and thousands of jobs.

The Better London Transport protest meeting will be held inSouthwark and will involve community groups,

charities, councillors, trade unionists and Labour's Shadow London Minister, Sadiq Khan.

It has been called by the TSSA rail union which represents the majority of the 2,000 staff who face the sack under the TfL plan to axe all ticket offices by 2015.

Explaining the strategy behind the meeting, union leader Manuel Cortes, said: "We as a trade union always reserve the right to take industrial action to defend our members' jobs but this is a much more important fight than just jobs, important as they are.

"It is all about the quality of life for Londoners in one of the richest cities in the world.

"Why should a young woman fear going into an unlit tube station at night? Why should an elderly person be left to  struggle with a complicated ticket machine on a deserted station on a Sunday afternoon?

"The answer, of course, is that they shouldn't, especially after the Mayor was elected on a promise to keep all ticket offices open.

"This is why we also want women's groups and old people's charities to join us. Londoners deserve better than Boris is offering them. They should now be prepared to fight for that."

Union leaders say that on top of the 2,000 jobs to go by 2015, a further 4,000 will go by 2020. The latter figure is publicly disputed by senior TfL executives who privately concede "it sounds about right".

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