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Friday, January 30, 2009

London Underground cutting 1,000 jobs

Looks like the doom and gloom of the recession has finally hit the Tube as London Underground announce that 1,000 people will lose their jobs.

Tube Running a Skeleton Crew taken by Mark Ovende

Unlike the picture of skeleton staff above implies, LU said no front line staff or Tube drivers, would be out of a job, the cuts would be from temporary and administrative posts.

However, as we'd probably expect with the railway unions, they are saying they will fight the cuts, as they believe the reduction in jobs will lead to a reduced service.

Gerry Doherty, leader of TSSA, said: "This is a real body blow for staff and the London travelling public. There is no way that cuts of this size will not hit services. We should be investing in the Underground in the run up to the Olympics, not cutting back."

Bob Crow, leader of the RMT, was more bullish and hinted at strike action as a result of the announcement: "Any attempt to impose compulsory redundancies among our members or to undermine their terms and conditions will be met with a ballot for industrial action."

He added "Once again it seems if you are a banker you get protection, but if you are part of a team providing a public service you don't. There is no way that London's transport workers should be made to pay for the failure of the bankers and privateers whose greed has created the crisis our economy is now in."

He also agreed with Doherty by saying "There is no way that redundancies on this scale can be implemented without affecting the level of service. If the mayor is looking for efficiencies he should bring the Tube Lines PPP contracts back in house, because they are still draining huge sums of public money from London’s transport budget."

Tube Cuts 1,000 Jobs

The London Underground employs about 20,000 staff, and the jobs which are slated to go are from finance, IT, procurement, human resources, legal and administration.

For once I tend to agree with Bob Crow (well not about the threat of strikes bit, which he plays too often). I find it hard to see how an organisation can lose that many staff - in whatever functions - and for this to make no difference to the service it provides to the public.


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