London Underground has informed union reps of its intention to reduce the frequency of maintenance checks carried out on some trains from 24 to 96 hours.
The checks, which involve ensuring the train is safe to run, are carried out my fleet workers in depots across the network.
Tube union RMT has objected strongly to the plans, insisting that they put passenger safety at risk. The union has also accused the employer of wanting to cut fleet workers’ jobs.
Fleet staff have recently secured some victories over the bosses, including a campaign on the Piccadilly Line to win permanent contracts for workers who had been employed on a fixed-term basis.
RMT is currently balloting its fleet members in Ruislip depot for strikes over pay disparity between workers performing equivalent work. The ballot closes on 6 December.
Meanwhile, a BBC report has revealed that, despite assurances to the contrary, London Underground is leaving Tube stations unstaffed on a routine basis.
When ticket offices were shut, LU bosses promised the public that this would make staff “more visible”, and that “all stations would be staffed from first to last trains”. This has been proven manifestly false.
A station worker and RMT rep told Solidarity: “The BBC report confirmed what any of us working on stations already know: that LU routinely keeps stations open without any staff.
“Although legislation allows it to do this at ‘non-Section 12’ stations — that is, stations above ground — is still represents an obvious safety risk, as well as damaging accessibility.
“The situation is the result of job cuts. Our strike in January forced the company to reverse 325 of the cuts it had made, but we need to push for more.
“Tube passengers have a right to expect staff assistance at their local station. We’ll be demanding further increases to the staffing level right across the network.”