London Tube staff to strike from Sept 6

(Reuters) – Thousands of workers on London’s underground rail system will start four one-day strikes on September 6 to protest against proposed ticket office job cuts, unions said Wednesday.

The white-collar Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association and the RMT union said 10,000 employees — ranging from drivers to engineers and station staff — also plan to down tools on October 3, November 2 and November 28.

The strikes are likely to cause severe disruption to travel in London, which relies on the extensive and often overcrowded underground network to ferry commuters, shoppers and tourists around the capital.

“The cuts they want to impose are unacceptable,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said.

Unions say plans to shed 800 jobs and reduce ticket office opening hours will make the “Tube” network less safe to use.

London Underground (LU), in charge of running the network, urged the unions to back down, arguing fewer ticket sellers were needed following the adoption of ticketless payment cards which allow customers to pay quickly at machines and in shops.

“The proposed changes would mean a reduction in the total number of posts across LU, but will involve no compulsory redundancies, and will have no impact on the Tube’s high safety standards,” the organisation said – Reuters