doc

Arguments have broken out between London Underground and the Rail and Maritime Union (RMT) once again resulting in the announcement of two new strike dates.

Over the weekend the union confirmed five days of strike action after talks concerning the closure of ticket offices, jobs and safety were ‘wrecked’.

All staff have been told not to book shifts between 9pm on April 28 until 8.59pm on April 30 and the same times between May 5 and May 8.

Members have also been instructed not to take on any overtime as of April 29.

RMT leaders claim that the walk-out is over plans that will axe 953 station staff posts and close all ticket offices.

The union also suggests that London Underground management have now proposed a further cut of 840 jobs from front-line operational roles, resulting in a total of 1793 front-line posts facing elimination.

RMT acting general secretary Mick Cash said: “The talks aimed at resolving the dispute on London Underground over the savage cuts to jobs, services and safety have been cynically wrecked by a tube management who not only refused to budge an inch but who have chosen to up the ante by injecting further poisonous measures into a package that was already toxic to the core.

“Staff are furious that while senior management pay and staffing levels are being allowed to roar ahead the jobs and pay of the core, station based staff who are the interface with the travelling public are being torn to ribbons.

However, officials at London Underground are urging the union to return to talks.

The LU suggests that there are soon to be ‘unparalleled levels’ of staff support at stations.

Phil Hufton, London Underground’s chief operating officer, said that the RMT had offered no ‘real’ alternative solution.

He said: "Rather than our staff being stuck behind glass screens in under-utilised ticket offices, they (staff) will be at ticket machines, gate lines and platforms.

"Over the past eight weeks, we have met with our trades union colleagues on over 40 occasions, listening to their concerns and making significant changes as a result.

“There will be no compulsory redundancies and all requests for voluntary redundancy will be honoured.

“However, the RMT leadership has rejected these changes and has not put forward any credible alternative proposals."

A number of stations have been cited as already working well without ticket offices, including Chigwell and Theydon Bois.