Socialist Worker

Tube workers in dispute as bosses’ cuts take their toll

Issue No. 2533

(Pic: Chris McKenna)

Tube drivers’ strikes on London Underground’s Piccadilly and Hammersmith & City lines, set for Tuesday, were suspended by the workers’ RMT union.

The union said that “all objectives in the Piccadilly line dispute have now been achieved” with further talks aimed at a long term agreement on the Hammersmith & City line.

Meanwhile, RMT union station staff are currently on an overtime ban, with TSSA union members set to join them from Thursday.

The dispute is over the impact of closing all ticket offices and replacing over 800 jobs with ticket vending machines—part of bosses’ major station cuts programme.

A TSSA survey of members revealed that staff report being on the receiving end of unprecedented levels of verbal and physical abuse from passengers.

During recent talks bosses conceded they would bring forward the recruitment of 100 extra staff on stations.

This shows they are under pressure but it is a drop in the ocean compared to what is needed to alleviate the ongoing staffing crisis.

Both unions also have mandates for strikes.

If safety is under threat the unions should call a strike and force London Labour mayor Sadiq Khan, who is also chair of Transport for London, to intervene.

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