Friday, September 22, 2017

Anger at plans to close Overground ticket offices

RAIL UNION RMT last week responded to London Overground ticket office and staffing proposals that included plans to cut ticket offices at Overground stations.
The union’s general secretary, Mick Cash, said: "RMT is deeply concerned about the proposals which in our view could see the elimination of ticket offices across London Overground.
“Our experience in the past shows that, despite promises to the contrary, the closure of ticket offices leads to the wholesale destaffing of stations with serious consequences for safety and security.
"These plans have a striking similarity to the Fit for The Future model rolled out on London Underground stations which meant wholesale axing of ticket offices and a net loss in safety critical jobs and which sparked a long running union industrial and political campaign that eventually reversed a ‎sizeable chunk of those cuts.
"RMT is also aware that these proposals are being mapped out against the background of massive central Government cuts to the TfL [Transport for London] budget and those cuts could shape the eventual package.
“The Mayor ‎must give us cast iron assurances that will not happen and we are calling for urgent, top level discussions around the proposals released by TfL today."
Eddie Dempsey, an RMT activist, who is employed by TfL, commented: “Outrageous that on the morning London's transport network suffered another terrorist attack, Arriva Rail London, the privateers who operate London Overground with Transport for London, have announced massive cuts to station staff that could see every ticket office on the network at risk of closure.
“Once again London Underground workers were the first on the scene keeping Londoners safe as they were on 7/7 and once again they're being ignored about the safety implications of transport staff cuts.
“These plans mirror what London Underground did with its Fit for the Future programme (colloquially known as fit for f**k all among LU workers) which lead to a massive shortage of staff and a number of serious safety incidents London Underground couldn't deal with.
“This was despite RMT raising again and again underground workers concerns that these plans would put passengers and staff at risk. It took a combination of safety shortfalls and major strike action by RMT members shutting London down before London regained some hundreds of jobs that had been cut, but not all, or enough.
“Two billion odd cuts to the TfL budget is driving this irresponsible attitude to public safety. The mayor needs to get off the pot and fight for London's transport network and hold off the cuts before this scorched earth policy of staff cuts leads to a major disaster and loss of lives.”

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