London Tube Workers Vote to Strike Over Ticket Offices

London Underground workers who belong to the Rail, Maritime & Transport union voted to strike to protest Mayor Boris Johnson’s plans to close most station ticket offices on the urban rail network and cut 750 jobs.

RMT members who took part in the ballot voted by 77 percent to strike and by a bigger majority for action short of a strike, the union said in a statement on its website today. No further details of the vote were provided.

Under Johnson’s plans, which also involve the introduction of 24-hour services on the Underground, ticket offices would be retained only at five central London Tube stations and at Heathrow airport. Less than 3 percent of Tube journeys now involve a visit to a ticket office, according to Transport for London, which runs the Underground.

“The Tube network is under growing pressure from customer demand and needs more staff and not less to ensure safe and efficient operation,” RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said in the statement.

The union’s executive will now decide what action to take, the RMT said. A second union, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, called a strike ballot yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eddie Buckle in London at ebuckle@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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