Tube strikes to hit London this weekend in row over ticket office closures

First Tube Strike of 2016 is bearing down on the capital

The first Tube strike of 2016 is set to hit London this weekend, in a continuing row over ticket office closures.

RMT union members are expected to begin the 48-hour walkout at 8.59pm on Saturday February 6.

The industrial action will severely disrupt morning services on the busy Monday morning commute next week.

The row follows TfL’s ticket office closures and the introduction of new rosters for station staff called the “Fit for the Future” proposals.

In a letter to members, RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “I urge you all to show maximum support for your station staff colleagues during the above strike action, including not volunteering to cover any station staff duties or any shifts.

“These Fit for the Future proposals are too important to rush through and they must be fit for purpose before they are implemented.”

But London Underground said the changes involved no job losses and the strikes would hit staff bonuses.

LU chief operating officer Steve Griffiths said: “Ticket offices that customers were using in ever dwindling numbers have already closed with more staff than ever now moved into ticket halls, gate lines and platforms where they can help customers more effectively. As a result, we are seeing big increases in customer satisfaction, particularly in the helpfulness of staff.

“The only thing a strike will do is badly hit hardworking Londoners and lose staff two days’ pay and a £500 bonus.

“We have delivered every commitment we made to our staff – there have been no compulsory redundancies, work life balance has been protected and there’s a job for anyone with no loss of pay. Around 900 station staff will be promoted or move from fixed-term contracts to permanent roles. There is clearly absolutely no basis whatsoever for this strike threat.”

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