The RMT has announced that balloting will start this Friday on Arriva Rail London for strike action and action short of a strike to resist the closure of Overground ticket offices.
RMT has been campaigning for the last two years to stop the axing of Overground ticket offices.
The union today has received confirmation that the company has revised ticket offices at Bruce Grove and South Action. In addition to this, temporary closures of Stamford Hill and Theobalds Grove will now become permanent. These changes will be implemented in a few weeks with a further roll-out in other locations early in 2020.
The plans currently available would see many stations only open 07:30 – 10:00 am, Monday to Friday.
If these cuts go ahead, the union is concerned that:
- Stations will become less safe, secure and accessible.
- Passengers will not be able to access all ticket types and services at a machine.
- Many people, including some elderly and disabled passengers, would struggle to purchase tickets and get advice.
- It will be easier for London Overground to close more ticket offices and reduce staffing even further in the future.
Ballot papers will be sent to union members on Friday 6th December 2019 with a closing date of Thursday 19th December 2019.
What did the officials say?
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said:
“We are kicking off the ballot this week to make our members voice is heard over these outrageous proposals which would wreck passenger services across London Overground with the closure programme kicking in before Christmas.
“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.”