RMT strike threat over London Underground 'job cuts'

General Secretary Bob Crow (C) and TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes (R) join campaign groups protesting outside Oxford Circus tube station against plans to reduce staff on transport routes across the Capital on October 23 An announcement is due to be made tomorrow

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Union members have threatened to go on strike over what they claim will be "savage" cuts to jobs on the London Underground.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union claims the closure of about 3,000 jobs and hundreds of ticket offices will be announced on Thursday.

Transport for London (TfL) is facing cuts of about £80m in 2013 and 2014.

It said all Tube stations will remain staffed and managed while services are running.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "The savage cuts due to be announced tomorrow will leave every job across London Underground at risk and, if they are not stopped, will reduce the Tube network to a dangerous and hollowed-out shell where safety is compromised and passengers are left at risk the minute they step on to a station or a train.

Fare increase

"With increased passenger demand, against the background of a Tube capacity that is struggling to cope, we need more staff, not less, and this package of Treasury-driven cuts would send London Underground right over the edge."

In March, BBC London reported TfL is facing a 1% cut in its government grant this year, and 2% the following year.

In cash terms, it means a loss of £33m for 2013-14, and £45m for 2014-15.

In January passengers saw on average a 4.2% increase in fares across the Tube, buses and trams.

'Major modernisation'

LU managing director Mike Brown said: "We are now carrying more passengers, more safely and reliably than ever before.

"Major modernisation of the Tube is well under way and many of our customers benefit today from some of the most frequent rail services anywhere in Europe.

"We will shortly set out our vision for a Tube service fit for the future and London in the 21st Century.

"This will include a commitment that all Tube stations will remain staffed and managed while services are running, with more staff visible and available to help our customers buy the right ticket, plan their journeys and remain safe and secure."

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