Rail unions move to ballot London Overground members over ticket office closures

Acton Central station, which faces an 85% cut to its opening hours from 84 hours a week to twelve and a half

The RMT and TSSA are moving towards strike action in protest of plans to close some London Overground ticket offices and reduce opening hours in others.

The RMT is moving straight to a ballot of its members, while the TSSA is threatening to do the same early next week.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Having failed to close the London Overground ticket offices completely due to a union and public campaign that convinced  London Travel Watch to keep them open ARL/ TFL are now trying to achieve the same results by stealth.

“The consultative process has been exposed as a sham and our members are not prepared to sit idly by when safety and accessibility are once again sacrificed for profit.

“The Mayor must step up and demand these ticket offices remain open and that TFL is adequately funded to service all the people of London equally instead of employing measures that will discriminate against the disabled and vulnerable.”

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “Yesterday morning we met TfL bosses and they have refused to increase their paltry pay offer. Sadly, they have told our members they need to take yet another pay cut. In effect this would be the sixth successive year of pay cuts.

“Our union represents some of the lowest paid people within the TfL family and they are sick to the back teeth of having to put up with pay cut, after pay cut, after pay cut. They have had more than enough.

“In a recent ballot of our members they told us overwhelmingly that they wanted us to reject the 1 per cent pay offer from TfL and that they were willing to take part in industrial action if it became necessary.

“Today I have told TfL that we are willing to go to ACAS for further talks but on the understanding that TfL will be tabling an improved offer.

“I wrote to Sadiq Khan last month urging him to intervene. I am again asking the Mayor to step in because if by early next week we haven’t had a response from the Company that they will meet our terms for talks at ACAS, we will be moving to a ballot for industrial action.”

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