By Raymie Kiernan
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Campaign gets going to stop Tube job cuts

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Issue 2387

Cuts on London Underground are unpopular

Around 170 people filled Conway Hall in central London to launch the Hands Off London Transport campaign on Thursday of last week.

The RMT union organised the meeting. It took place as RMT members on London Underground prepare for two 48-hour strikes next month.

Tube workers joined other trade unionists and campaigners angry at London Underground bosses’ plan to close ticket offices and cut nearly 1,000 tube station jobs.

Mick Cash, RMT senior assistant general secretary, said the campaign was about ensuring “a safe and secure environment for workers and the travelling public”. 

Green Party London Assembly member Jenny Jones called Tory mayor Boris Johnson a “liar and a cheat”. In 2010 Johnson had promised to keep all ticket offices open. 

Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn argued the tube needs “investment not cuts”.

Ciara Doyle from Disabled People Against Cuts said the cuts “will impact very heavily on disabled passengers” who find the Tube difficult to use without help from staff.

RMT assistant general secretary Steve Hedley said from the floor that he was “very happy” to be working with disabled groups, pensioners and others. But he added, “The only thing that’s going to win is tube workers striking back on a London-wide basis to smash these cuts.”

TSSA tube workers’ union president Manuel Cortes said his union was balloting its members to “strike shoulder to shoulder with the RMT”. The TSSA ballot ends on Monday of next week.

RMT members voted by 77 percent for strikes and other industrial action. The RMT has called two 48-hour strikes starting Tuesday 4 February and Tuesday 11 February.

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