Tube bosses have warned unions that the threat of further industrial action won’t resolve differences between the two sides over plans to close ticket offices and axe hundreds of jobs.
In November Mayor Boris Johnson announced that all ticket offices across the network will close with the loss of 950 posts.
City Hall and London Underground say the continued take-up of Oyster and imminent introduction of contactless fares on TfL rail services means the offices are no longer needed.
Members of the RMT and TSSA unions have held two strikes in protest at the plans which they say will compromise passenger service and safety, claims denied by LU.
A further strike was suspended after both sides agreed to hold talks aimed at resolving their differences, including over the future of staff redeployed as a result of the changes.
LU insist there will be no compulsory redundancies and say staff “prepared to be flexible” and move to new roles will not lose pay.
However unions have now accused managers of breaching past commitments by requiring staff who switch roles to pass a competence assessment in return for retaining their current salary.
In a letter sent earlier this week to Phil Hufton, London Underground’s Chief Operating Officer, the unions also express unhappiness that “LU will not agree to maintain the substantive salary of any member who declines a move to a role or location that is unsuitable to them.”
The unions say: “We consider this to be a very serious breach of commitments you gave to our respective trade unions and we now require you to make a clear, unconditional commitment that no member of staff will suffer a loss of substantive pay because of re-organisation at the company’s behest.”
Their letter goes on to say: “The threat to future salaries is causing anxiety to many of our members and is undermining morale on the tube.
“Members are also worried about whether they are to be put in an impossible position performing a role to which they are not suited in understaffed stations with inadequate ticketing facilities.
“Our respective trade unions are not prepared to allow London Underground to implement your flawed proposal to the cost of our members while going through the motions of a sham consultation with us.
“We propose that your answers to the questions we have posed in this letter now form the basis of a serious process of negotiation.
“If London Underground is not prepared to engage with us, in good faith, on these issues then we have no alternative but to place the matter before our respective trade union executives to consider taking further industrial action.”
Responding to the union’s letter, Mr Hufton said: “As a result of our plans to modernise and improve customer service on the Tube we have guaranteed that there will be no compulsory redundancies, anyone who wants to stay with us can have a job and no one will lose pay providing they are prepared to be flexible.
“We have been in constant dialogue with trade unions and staff over our plans and we will continue with these discussions.
“Today, less than 3 per cent of journeys involve a visit to a ticket office. This trend is set to continue with the introduction of contactless bank card payment later this year.
“In future we will have more staff visible and available to help our customers buy the right ticket, plan their journey and keep them safe and secure. The only way to resolve the issues raised is to continue talking and not threatening further industrial action.”