Published on January 16, 2014 | by bjstudent070
Protestors come to Westminster over planned tube cuts
Tube workers and members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) were outside parliament this morning protesting against the Mayor of London’s planned job cuts. Campaigners gathered at 10am to hear RMT regional organiser for London Transport John Leech declare it’s a protest that’s both industrial and political.
1000 jobs are under threat as Boris Johnson aims to close 260 ticket offices by 2015. Among employees and officials there were also MPs in attendance, including Hackney’s Labour representative Diane Abbott, and Michael Connarty, who represents Linlithgow and East Falkirk. Mr Connarty said the staff cuts were a mistake that Mr Johnson would regret, and feels a machine-only service will make it difficult for tourists and non-Londoners to navigate and buy tickets on the Underground.
Brian Munro from the RMT also warned that it will be much harder for the disabled, elderly and infirm to travel on the tubes. Karen Wilson, who’s worked as a ticket officer at Victoria station for 26 years, says the cuts make her feel as if politicans simply see employees as numbers rather than actual people. As a result the union has announced two 48 hour strikes, on 4th/5th and 10th/11th February.
The Mayor’s office says the cuts are the start of plans to introduce a 24 hour tube service. Though ticket offices will be closed, wifi will become available in stations, there will be contactless bank card payments and better access for the disabled at 27 stations. Parliament will be debating the issue today.
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