Transport for London (TfL) wants to cut up to 600 jobs from its Tube services, amid concerns about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its finances.
The transport agency will not replace some staff when they leave and will not fill some current job vacancies, with between 500 and 600 jobs set to go.
Transport union RMT, which is in talks with TfL over the proposed cuts, hit out at the transport agency, claiming that the safety of passengers and staff was being compromised. The union has already begun balloting for a possible strike.
The union’s general secretary Mick Lynch said: “TfL know that what London Underground are doing is wrong. They have the data that shows passengers want more staff, not less and they now have the data showing that crime and anti-social behaviour rates are up and passenger confidence is shaken.
“If they persist with these cuts it will further erode passenger confidence in tube travel and we risk seeing London Underground descending into a spiral of decline that will cause immeasurable damage to London.
“TfL’s Board and the Mayor need to show some spine, do what they know is right and step in to stop these cuts and this government need to stop partying while London crumbles and provide the funds we need to get out of this growing crisis.”
TfL’s finances have suffered in the pandemic, with the loss of fares taking a devastating toll. The agency is in funding talks with the government, but has warned that services and infrastructure spending will be slashed without billions of pounds of fresh investment. Talks are due to conclude on Saturday (December 11) but could roll over.
Nick Dent, director of customer operations for London Underground, said: “We remain completely committed to retaining our customer service offer, with stations staffed at all times while trains are operating.
“The discussions are at an early stage, and we will continue to work with our employees and trade union colleagues as proposals are developed.”
Tube drivers are in the middle of an intermittent strike that is set to last until December 17. over Night Tube scheduling.