21 November 2013
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
“No matter how this is dressed up by Boris Johnson and his officials, today’s announcement is all about slashing £270 million from the annual London transport budget and the proposed cuts will decimate staffing levels and hit the most vulnerable users of tube services the hardest. The mayor must believe he is some sort of magician if he thinks he can slash a thousand jobs and still run safe services when everyone knows that staffing has already been cut to the bone while passenger demand continues to rise.
“Throwing in the plan for night time operation at the weekends is just a smokescreen to try and camouflage the real issue which is a savage cuts to jobs, access and safety. Any move to run through the night would require huge additional capacity and staffing and wholesale changes to fleet and infrastructure maintenance that would require the agreement of the tube unions and the issue has only been flagged up today as a diversion from the massive cuts agenda.
“Londoner’s should not be fooled. Axing staff and ticket offices is part of the drive to a faceless, automated tube where you take your chances the moment you step onto a station, a platform or a train. That is the real issue we have been confronted with today. “RMT’s position remains the same. We will work with sister unions and the public to fight these plans and that means using every campaigning, political and industrial tool at our disposal and our executive will be looking at a timetable and a strategy for that campaign, including a ballot for industrial action, later today.”