From: RMT media office [mailto:rmtmediaNOREPLY@rmt.org.uk]
Sent: 17 June 2010 10:58
Subject: RMT slams 'lethal and unworkable' Tory plan to axe all tube drivers and operators in a dash for cuts
TUBE UNION RMT tonight condemned “lethal and unworkable” plans leaked to the BBC from within the GLA Tory Group to axe all train drivers and operators on London Underground and to move the entire tube system to a driverless operation.
The leaked report, confirmed as being under discussion by the GLA Tories and which London Tory Mayor Boris Johnson is aware of, recommends sacking all of the 3,525 train drivers and operators estimating that it could result in savings of £141 million per annum.
The report is also clear that the plan is part of a secret drive by the Tory Party to break the strength of the Tube’s biggest and most powerful trade union, RMT.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
“Under normal circumstances I would be tempted to dismiss this leaked report as some kind of a joke, cooked up by anti-union fantasists, but in the current climate of cuts and attacks on public services we are taking it very seriously.
“People only have to look at the footage of the carnage down the tube after the 7/7 bombings, and the brave and critical role played by train operators and platform staff in dealing with that emergency situation, to see why these crew are so vital to the safety of Londoners.
“The people behind this Tory Party report not only want to get rid of the drivers but they want no staff on the tube trains at all. That just proves that they have no understanding of the tube system and a complete and utter disregard for passenger safety.
“It may well be that some junior politician is simply flying a kite to make a name for themselves but RMT will not sit back and allow this lethal and unworkable idea to gain any traction whatsoever.
“We are already involved in a battle to defend Tube Lines, station and platform jobs and our fight for safe staffing levels across London Underground, including the use of industrial action, will continue.”
acknowledgements to P.MacCafferty