Union Accuses TfL of Lying Over Station Staffing

Leaked document said to contradict Tube bosses' earlier assurances

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Tube union RMT repeated its call for a halt to the TfL jobs cuts programme after a leaked internal London Underground document, passed to the union, confirmed that the management claim that they have no plans for unstaffed stations as a result of the cuts is a 'total lie'.

The leaked document, which is specifically on the subject of problems with station announcements to passengers in the current climate of cuts, says: “RISKS - Operational Upgrades identified a number of risks which need to be taken into account when deciding on the de-activation of LLPA [Long Line PA]:

“There are a number of stations across the network which is [sic] left unstaffed from time to time. Where this is the case without LLPA there is no audible means of providing service disruption information to customers on platforms. With the OSP [station staff job cuts programme] and future station staffing changes it may become more of an issue at more locations more frequently.”

However, on the 5th May 2010 a TfL spokesman said: "London Underground's future staffing proposals will continue to mean safe stations staffed at all times and all stations with a ticket office will continue to have one.” A statement directly contradicted by the leaked document passed to RMT.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “Once again TfL have been caught out lying about the service and safety impact of their station staff jobs cuts plans. They have repeatedly told the public that they have no plans to run unstaffed stations and yet this communications report shows that that is exactly what they are planning for. There is no way that on an unstaffed station they will be able to communicate with the public in the event of an emergency or pass on service information. This report shows that the cuts are a disaster in the making.

“Unstaffed stations are also a muggers and vandals paradise. The mayor has promised that there will be no unstaffed stations but his officials say not only that there will but that there already are. It’s about time they told the public the truth about their cuts plans."

With just over a week before the next phase of planned strike action on the tube by TSSA and RMT members, the unions say that the time has now come for London Underground/TfL to 'pull back from these plans' which they believe would have a disastrous impact on tube safety and services.

November 18, 2010