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TSSA members in tube stations are striking for safety

22 December 2016

TSSA has today served notice to London Underground (LU) that our members working in tube stations will take strike action next month unless our dispute over staffing levels and safety is resolved.

Our LU members working in tube stations are currently refusing to work overtime as they take action short of strike to highlight the chronic and systemic problem of understaffing of tube stations following the axing of over 800 jobs by Boris Johnson, whilst he was still Mayor of London, earlier this year.

The job cuts have resulted in the wholesale closure of ticket offices, a huge spike in verbal and physical abuse towards our customer service staff and a serious downgrading of safety standards - including evacuation procedures and CCTV monitoring - as well increasing frustrations for passengers who are now only able to be served by ticket-vending machines.

Said TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, "Whilst Talks at ACAS have seen LU concede they do need to re-employ more staff on our tube, they are so far unwilling to give the assurance that they will restore adequately safe-staffing levels to make our Tube safe again."

"Our members are fed-up of being made scapegoats for passenger frustrations with the new - and failing - ticket-vending machines. They are fed-up of being pressured into overtime to try to cover-up the misguided decision to cull over 800 jobs, and fed-up of being fearful at work because of the systemic failure of LU to adhere to safety guidelines set in the wake of the Kings Cross Fire which killed 31 people."

"The recent 'bomb incident' at Greenwich North revealed the huge holes that now exist in the security and evacuation procedures because of the Tory-driven cuts. Our members are optimistic that the new Labour regime in City Hall will be more fair-minded than Boris. But they have become disillusioned with the failure so far to reach a speedy solution to a problem everyone is now prepared to admit exists."

"In all conscience, our members can't hold back from taking strike action any longer. LU management are now faced with the challenge from our reps to do the right thing and restore staffing levels and safety to our Tube. But if they continue with unjust and unfair working practices, they will face the striking consequences of workers who are no longer prepared to put up with the new stresses and strains that have been heaped upon them.

"Our union remains available for further talks at ACAS in the hope that this dispute can be settled at once.However, to do this, LU must stop playing games and tell us how many more staff they are prepared to employ. We think its only fair that they answer this question without further delay as they have already acknowledged that Boris's dangerous cuts went too far".

A TSSA ballot for strike action was returned last month. Strike action is now scheduled to begin at 6pm on January 8, 2017.

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