|Tube Strike To Go Ahead From Tuesday Evening|
TfL say they will keep as many stations open as possible
Strike action by more than 11,000 members of RMT and TSSA, the two biggest unions on London Underground, will go ahead tomorrow evening after Tube bosses again failed to suspend their “dangerous and unnecessary” plan to axe 800 safety critical station staff.
Engineering staff will start their third 24-hour strike at 19.00 tomorrow (November 2), while operational staff will not book on for shifts scheduled to start from 21.00.
Both unions today urged London Underground to suspend cuts cuts that are also opposed by the London Assembly and have raised “severe concerns” from London TravelWatch.
The unions also released photographs of damage found on a District Line train while in service last week, underlining their case that maintenance cuts are already having a devastating effect on the fabric of the Tube network.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “All we have been asking is that the London Mayor stick to the pledge he made during his election campaign, when he too recognised that people wanted to see stations staffed properly. The message is simple: suspend these cuts and we will suspend our action. Only last week Tube workers were commended by the inquest into the July 7 bombings for their selfless actions in rescuing victims, yet among them are the very grades that the mayor is now intent on cutting."
A spokesperson for Transport for London said: "We will keep as many stations open as possible and will run as many trains as we safely can. Please check before you travel to see how services are affected.
"We expect all other TfL services, including London Overground, DLR and Tramlink, to run as normal, but they may be busier than usual. In addition, extra Bus and River services will be in operation. Cycling or walking may also be practical options for many.
The dispute is over Transport for London's 'Operating Strategic Plan' which envisages reductions in staffing level and some ticket office closures. TfL say there will be no compulsory redundancies and safety will not be compromised. The unions claim that since the first dispute TfL have announced another series of planned staff cut backs in support services.
ACAS has been mediating in the dispute but the unions adjourned the talks when London Underground said they did not want to discuss pay and grading. The unions say LU have 'changed the goal posts'. There is no indication at this stage that further talks will be taking place.
Another strike is planned for 28th - 29th November.
November 1, 2010