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Thursday, March 11, 2010

London Underground to cut up to 800 jobs

In a bid to save £16m each year, LU has announced it will be losing around 700-800 roles on the Tube. In a
press release today (where the focus is on "vision for a safe, efficient and transformed Tube" - sad how lots of visionary releases tend to hide bad news for other people), London Underground stated there would be no compulsory redundancies and they would look to re-focus staff to areas of greater customer need.

Tube Running a Skeleton Crew by Mark Ovenden

No changes will be introduced without consultation with staff and trade unions. It's unlikely the unions will take news of cuts lightly, so I bet the likelihood of threats of industrial action to be high.

Union leaders have already told the BBC of their disappointment with Bob Crow leader of the RMT in bullish mode & dismissive of LU's safety reassurances: "If these cuts to jobs are bulldozed through by Transport for London it will turn London's Tube stations into a muggers' paradise."

London Underground were clear to state that there would be no ticket office closures. It was rumoured earlier this year that 1,000 jobs would go due to ticket office losses. However the value of service provided at ticket stations, particularly in peak hours, was noted. "The LU proposals would also ensure, therefore, that all stations with a ticket office will continue to do so, with opening hours reduced in some areas to reflect the decline in demand but remaining open at the busiest times to serve customers."

However Gerry Doherty, general secretary of the TSSA, said Boris Johnson had betrayed staff: "He was elected promising to keep ticket offices fully open and fully staffed.

"He has now broken that promise. We shall fight this all the way if any of our members are threatened with compulsory redundancy
."

Tube officials said the cuts would include 100 managers, 450 ticket office posts and up to 200 other jobs.

Basically we have the "huge success" of the Oyster card to thank for the job cuts. Since its launch there has been a sharp decline in ticket sales at station offices with just one in 20 journeys paid for at the counter.


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