Crow Promises Five-Day Tube Strike Over Job Losses
Monday 25th November 2013
RMT boss Bob Crow has told LBC 97.3 that his union could strike for a whole working week in response to Transport for London's ticket office closures.
Mr Crow revealed that his members will be balloted for strike action over plans to cut 750 jobs on the underground tomorrow with a view to January strikes.
And he said a one-day strike would not be enough to convince "madman" Boris Johnson to re-think the job losses.
With a "Tenerife tan" following his holiday last week, Mr Crow told LBC 97.3: "We're going to be serving notice on London Underground tomorrow that we're balloting for strike action. You can take that from me now.
"They had the meeting last week and told our representatives and told them that the 90-day consultation is going to take place, that people will have to reapply for redundancy by January 17th and that's the reason why we can't wait about.
"Rome is burning and we're twiddling our thumbs.
"I believe it will be more than 24 hours. I don't believe that a one-day strike will get this madman at Central Office - Johnson - to change his mind. I think we need a significant few days of action."
When questioned by Julia Hartley-Brewer over whether that could be a five-day strike, he added: "Possibly. I'm not saying a week and I'm not saying it couldn't be a week either.
"There's two unions involved - there's us and our colleagues at the TSSA - and that will be something we'll have to discuss with them as well.
"Certainly, the initial feedback that I've had from London Underground staff is that unless London Underground change their mind, we need to tell them that we're really serious about this and take a significant amount of days action.
"Does anyone seriously believe that as a trade union, we're going to sit back and let 1,000 people be taken off the job, make the staff staying on re-apply for their own jobs, put our members in danger, put the travelling public in danger and make a worse service?
"We wouldn't be worth our salt if we just sat back and did nothing. And that's why we're balloting.
"I'd rather cause misery and pain for those London commuters than, six month's down the road, someone gets raped, someone gets assaulted, someone gets mugged. It would be worth every minute of it."
Last week, the Mayor announced all Tube ticket offices would be closed with the loss of 950 jobs, while 200 would be created by making the service run 24 hours at weekends.
The RMT chief also described Mr Johnson's plans as dangerous - as well as questioning whether he changes his pants every morning!
Mr Crow added: "It's just to save money, so how's he going to then fund the money for extra police resources.
"Are they going to be at Chesham station at midnight? Are they going to be at Epping Station?"
Transport for London insist all tube stations will be manned by members of staff at all times.