London Overground has released a statement, following news that the RMT union is planning a series of strikes in protest at the removal of guards from its trains.
We are disappointed by the result of the ballot, but would highlight that fewer than half of our 124 conductors voted, and only 43% of those voted in favour of industrial action.
We believe industrial action is unnecessary. LOROL continues to give the RMT assurances on employing conductors in alternative customer service roles and offering a generous voluntary redundancy package to those who want it.
We urge the RMT to work with us to maintain progress in safeguarding jobs and avoid disruption to passengers.If industrial action goes ahead on Sunday August 25th and Monday August 26th we believe we will still be able to run a regular service on the majority of the London Overground network with alternative arrangements for the routes affected. We will update our customers when we have more information.
– Peter Austin, London Overground managing director
Peter Austin, managing director for London Overground Rail Operations Limited (LOROL), said:
"We are disappointed by the result of the ballot, but would highlight that fewer than half of our 124 conductors voted, and only 43% of those voted in favour of industrial action.
"We believe industrial action is unnecessary. LOROL continues to give the RMT assurances on employing conductors in alternative customer service roles and offering a generous voluntary redundancy package to those who want it.
"We urge the RMT to work with us to maintain progress in safeguarding jobs and avoid disruption to passengers."
Guards on London Overground have voted for strike action in a row over jobs. Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union backed walkouts by 9-1 as part of a campaign against cuts.
The union said 130 guards' jobs face being axed under plans to introduce driver-only operations on the network.
General secretary Bob Crow said:
"RMT have sent out a clear message in this ballot for both strike action and action short of a strike on London Overground over the appalling, cash-driven assault on our guards members and the absolutely essential role that they play.
"These are the very same staff who have been praised for safely evacuating passengers from emergency situations and who are the eyes and ears of the service at a time of growing violence and thefts on our trains."
Following constructive negotiations and agreement on some key principles, and with an agreement to further talks, RMT can confirm that drivers’ strike action on the Jubilee Line scheduled to commence at 00.01 hours on the 2nd of April has been suspended.
New trains for the Crossrail scheme are to be fully funded by the taxpayer so that the £14.8 billion project can start on time.
Initial plans for the £1 billion Crossrail rolling stock procurement involved £350 million from the public purse, with the rest of the money coming from the private sector.
But with private companies having trouble raising funds quickly enough, Transport for London was concerned Crossrail would be ready to open in late 2018 but there would be no trains.
TfL said the new plan ensured a deal would be in place next year, with delivery and testing starting in 2017.
The 100% taxpayer funding arrangement was welcomed by rail unions RMT and TSSA.
RMT leader Bob Crow said:
"This is a hugely important development and a recognition that TfL and the Department for Transport do not want to repeat the fiasco of the Thameslink/Siemens deal that nearly killed train building in the UK and which remains log-jammed nearly two years on."
"The Crossrail fleet should now be built through public procurement at Bombardier in Derby, saving skilled manufacturing jobs and UK train building and delivering the rolling stock on time without the madness that has dogged Thameslink from day one."
TSSA leader Manuel Cortes said:
"We welcome the fact that Tory ministers recognise that it is cheaper and quicker to have publicly-funded new trains for Crossrail, but why stop there?
"Why don't we just get rid of the privately-run Roscos (rolling stock leasing companies) and build cheaper trains in Britain for the whole network, not just those operated by the mayor of London? By replacing the privateers, we could then start cutting fares."
The head of the RMT union has reacted angrily to the announcement that London Underground is hoping to extend the tube's running hours.
General Secretary Bob Crow said:
"It would be nice if senior tube officials had the decency to talk to their staff and their unions within existing agreements before they start spinning ideas out about extending hours and changing procedures.
"Major changes to operational hours mean major changes to rosters and would of course require the recruitment of more staff. They would also impact on maintenance, fleet and engineering works. None of that has been discussed with the unions in any forum and RMT does not conduct its negotiations via the media."
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said the child, who strayed onto tracks on the Bakerloo Line, could have been electrocuted.
"With London Mayor Boris Johnson mouthing soundbites about driver-less trains and de-staffing the Tube at the Tory conference, yet again only the quick intervention of a driver prevented a 12-year-old boy, who had managed to shimmy up and over the inner car barriers and out of the train, from getting hit by a moving a train or electrocuted on the rails.
"Management have rightly called an investigation into this shocking incident but this does not go far enough for RMT safety reps. We want a meeting to review the whole de-trainment process and a return to a safe way of working."
More strike action has been threatened ahead of, or even during, the London Olympics, with workers at four different train companies being balloted over possible industrial action.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at South West Trains (SWT), Greater Anglia and First Great Western will start voting this week in a row over a bonus for working during the Games.
Meanwhile, the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) is balloting members on the West Coast line over the suspension of a union rep by Virgin Trains.
The ballot will end on July 18, less than two weeks before the start of the Games, and the TSSA warned that action could be held during the Olympics.
The RMT ballots will end on July 19.
SWT insists it has already struck a pay deal with the RMT covering the Games period and has made it clear it will not offer any more money.
But RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said it was "a scandal" that SW Trains, Greater Anglia and First Great Western had "decided to try and force their staff to work longer and harder for little or nothing in return."