Third of Tube stations will be unmanned, says union

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The Independent Online

A fresh row over staffing levels on London Underground broke out today when union leaders claimed almost a third of Tube stations would be left unmanned because of job cuts.

The Rail Maritime and Transport union said 76 stations are scheduled to be unstaffed for part of the day, claiming this was in direct contradiction to assurances given by the company and London Mayor Boris Johnson.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "The time for the lies and misleading statements about the true impact of the Tube cuts must now come to an end as the harsh reality is laid out in black and white.

"Nearly a third of London's Tube stations will be left unstaffed for part of the working day if these cuts plans aren't brought to a halt. These aren't the RMT's figures - they come direct from LU's own operational documents.

"As fares are jacked up through the roof this week travellers can see that they will be expected to pay through the nose for a vastly inferior and dangerous service as unstaffed Tube stations are turned into a criminal's paradise.

"It was the Mayor Boris Johnson who told the Tory conference that no station would be unstaffed at any time. Either he wasn't aware of what his officials were up to or he was lying through his teeth. Either way he should call a halt to the lethal cocktail of jobs and maintenance cuts right now."

A Transport for London spokesman said: "We have been absolutely clear, and reiterate again, that the changes proposed will continue to see all LU stations staffed.

"In fact, where TfL has taken on stations from the former Silverlink franchise, on the LU and London Overground networks, stations that were previously left unstaffed are now staffed throughout the day.

"The changes also come with a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies. Having failed to stop London moving with pointless strike action, the RMT should end their scaremongering and work with us, as these changes will be implemented from 6 February."

LU is in dispute with the RMT and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association over ticket office job cuts which led to a series of strikes last year and remains unresolved.