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RMT ballots for Overground strike over ticket office reductions

THE RMT is stepping up its campaign to prevent the opening hours of many London Overground ticket offices being reduced, by balloting its members for strikes and other industrial action.

The current plans would mean many station ticket offices would only be open between 07.30 and 10.30, and closed all day at weekends.

The union’s 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 [Arriva Rail London] and 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 instead of employing measures that will discriminate against the disabled and vulnerable.’

The RMT has already staged a day of action, involving protests at stations, on 11 October.

At that time TfL’s director of rail and sponsored services Jonathan Fox had said: ‘We made clear back in the spring that, after listening closely to the views of Londoners, ticket offices on London Overground will remain open during the times of day when customers need them most.

‘The busiest will continue to operate the same hours as they do now. At quieter stations, ticket offices will be open a minimum of 07.30-10.00 Monday to Friday, and longer where there is demand. Only one station that currently has a ticket office will not have one in the future owing to the space being required for the much-needed installation of a lift. For the RMT to suggest otherwise is untrue.

‘All London Overground stations will continue to be staffed from 15 minutes before the first train to 15 minutes after the last, ensuring they remain safe and secure.’

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