RMT Union tube workers vote to strike over London Underground ticket office closures

Wimbledon Guardian: It comes as Transport for London presses ahead with plans to make the Northern Line run for 24 hours on the weekend from 2015. It comes as Transport for London presses ahead with plans to make the Northern Line run for 24 hours on the weekend from 2015.

Tube workers have voted to go on strike over plans to close all London Underground ticket offices and axe 750 jobs.

The RMT union today said the changes, revealed by London Mayor Boris Johnson in November, will reduce passenger safety and make the service worse for users.

The union said 77 per cent of those balloted voted for strike action.

Phil Hufton, London Underground's Chief Operating Officer, said: “We’re committed to working with unions and staff to implement changes to station staffing without compulsory redundancies and we’ve been clear that there’ll be a job for everyone at LU who wants to work for us and be flexible.

"I urge our trade union colleagues to work with us to shape the future of the Tube.

“I want this to be a real consultation and I’m determined to listen to all views expressed. However, threatening industrial action will be seen by hard-working Londoners and businesses as totally unnecessary given all the commitments we have made.”

Wimbledon Guardian:

Richard Tracey, London Assembly Member for Merton and Wandsworth and GLA Conservatives transport spokesman, accused RMT bosses of "blackmailing workers and businesses with strike misery."

He said: “RMT seems to be doing everything in its power to block innovation and progress on our tube network, while making sure their members pockets are lined with up to £62,000 salaries to drive trains, some of which are driverless capable, and bribes just to do their job on public holidays.”

LU has urged the union to represent its members’ interests by engaging in meaningful consultation to help shape the future of the Tube.

In a statement, the tube operator said: "In future... rather than being remote from customers behind closed doors or glass windows, Tube station staff will be based in ticket halls, on gate lines and on platforms, ready and available to give the best personal and face-to-face service to customers.

"As now, all Tube stations will continue to be staffed and controlled in future, with more staff visible and available than today in ticket halls and on gate lines and with the same number of staff on platforms.

"Staff equipped with the latest mobile technology, such as tablet computers, will be able to monitor and manage stations on the move."

It comes as Transport for London presses ahead with plans to make the Northern Line run for 24 hours on the weekend from 2015, as well as the Piccadilly, Central, Victoria of Jubilee Lines.

It aims to expand 24-hour weekend tube services to the District Line and the rest of the network in future years.

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