The RMT union has begun balloting members for strike action over last month’s announcement that all Tube ticket offices will close with the loss of 750 jobs.
The union claims the job loses will “reduce the network to a hollowed out and unsafe shell” and warns of “lethal consequence of de-staffing stations and platforms that are already rammed full of passengers and operating at the edge of their safe capacity.”
City Hall and London Underground insist all stations will remain staffed and that passengers will always be able to get the assistance they need, with mobile technology allowing staff in ticket halls and on platforms to do the work traditionally carried out by ticket offices.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said the job cuts “impact on every single member of tube staff both in terms of future employment prospects, recruitment freezes and in terms of the safe and efficient running of tube services.”
LU says there will be no compulsory redundancies and that it is committed to consulting with staff and exploring any changes to its proposals.
Chief Operating Officer, Phil Hufton, said: “We are now consulting with our unions and staff on our future vision, and I would urge the unions to work with us to shape our plan. I want this to be a real consultation and I am determined to listen to all views expressed.
“If some aspects of our proposals need changing, then we will do just that. Threatening hard-working Londoners with pointless strike action is totally inappropriate given this commitment.”