No Safety Cuts Says RMT-Tssa

RMT and TSSA strikers on the picket line at Harrow on-the-Hill yesterday morning
RMT and TSSA strikers on the picket line at Harrow on-the-Hill yesterday morning

RMT and TSSA members staged their latest 24-hour strike against mass sackings on London Underground yesterday.

At Harrow-on-the-Hill tube station, Simon Feldman, a striking signal cabin rep from the RMT, said: ‘There is a lot more public support in this strike than the other strikes. It has really affected the service.

‘It shows the unions are still strong.

‘We’ve had a lot of support from passengers because they are getting cutbacks in the public services and they are very angry that the fares are going up and the service is going down.’

Percy, a member of the TSSA, warned: ‘They are leaving stations open, trains are running through unstaffed stations.

‘The Office of the Rail Regulator is looking at the safety issues, following complaints from both TSSA and RMT.

‘We will keep fighting and we will not let management impose these unsafe cuts to staffing numbers.’

Yogi, another TSSA member, said: ‘Staffing levels are so low that there are no staff to help old people or blind people or people with push-chairs and luggage.

‘London Underground has invested so much money in raising the platforms to make them user-friendly for disabled and push-chairs, but there is no staff to help, the system’s unworkable.

‘We are trying to support the Underground, whereas management are undermining it.’

Chris Burrell, also a member of the TSSA, said: ‘They are leaving lots of stations unmanned when the strike is not on, which leaves drivers of the trains at risk and also, when there is only one member of staff for a station, they are vulnerable to attack.’

Striking RMT and TSSA members were joined on the picket line at the Elephant and Castle yesterday morning by students from South Bank University and by Southwark Save Our Services.

RMT Bakerloo line rep Brian Monroe told News Line: ‘This is another solid strike.

‘If we let management cut 800 jobs of station staff, then they are sure to find another 800 after that.’

TSSA member Wayne Geoghegan said ‘management’s version of events that the strike is crumbling is exactly the opposite.

‘They say no one will lose their job because there are 600 vacancies that have not been filled.

‘Any members of staff facing disciplinary actions are being sacked by the management as fast as they can.

‘We have got stations all over the city being closed for odd hours simply because of staff shortages.’

A letter to all staff sent out last Friday from the Director of Employee Relations, Gerry Duffy, states:

‘The ticket office changes will go ahead in February and no amount of further pointless action by RMT or TSSA will change that fact.’

Striking tube workers further rubbished claims that management is negotiating seriously, stating that junior managers are being sent to the talks with the unions.

Transport for London is controlled by the Tories and their Mayor Boris Johnson, after they took control of the Greater London Assembly at the last elections.