Occupy London supports Transport Workers
On April 5th 2014, at an assembly on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral, Occupy London agreed to offer a message of support and solidarity to the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT), Hands Off London Transport (HOLT), and London Underground workers, who are taking action to keep tube stations staffed and to prevent job losses.
More pertinently, the cuts will:
1) Impact on the disabled. With fewer staff to facilitate access, the difficulties experienced due to lack of wheelchair access and crowded stations will be exacerbated.
2) Impact on tourists, the less confident, the vulnerable… the people who rely on station staff to answer questions, the people who struggle to use ticket machines, who don’t have oyster cards, who don’t understand the tube map or the London public transportation system. Station staff do far more than just sell tickets.
3) Create chaos when oyster cards or ticket machines experience glitches or breakages. Technology is no replacement for a human who can respond to a logistical problem with wisdom, humanity and common sense.
Recent polls suggest most of the travelling public is opposed to London Underground staffing cuts. Station staff say they perform a vital health, safety and security role. They argue that cutting jobs is not the way to improve our economy, not the way to improve quality of life for transport workers or transport users.
Occupy London offers solidarity to the workers, in line with the OL Statement created by consensus, by an estimated 2000 people over two days, back when the Occupy movement began. That statement included the line “We support […] actions to defend our health services, welfare, education and employment, and to stop wars and arms dealing”. This remains the case in April 2014, as in October 2011.
For more on the strikes and efforts to save jobs and ticket staff, see Hands Off London Transport website with recent blog RMT calls new strikes: gear up to build solidarity! and the RMT site with latest news RMT Members on London Underground to take 5 days Strike Action.