Government proposes savage cuts on London Underground and Overground

TRANSPORT UNION RMT has revealed today that the Government proposes savage cuts on London Underground and Overground in spite of the high productivity levels of its workers.

The proposed cuts are part of an austerity package being demanded by the Government in exchange for a 6 month period of ‘workplace reform’ including a return to the idea of ‘driverless trains’ and an attack on workers’ pension schemes.

However, RMT’s research shows that the amount of passenger revenue generated per member of staff has grown significantly across London Underground and Overground and that London’s Transport workers have delivered significant productivity growth in the last 10 years. Far from being a cost to be managed, staff should be at the heart of ‘building back better’ and the real financial problem at TfL is its growing debt burden.

The report shows that on both London Underground and Overground the amount of passenger revenue generated per member of staff has grown significantly:

• Over the last 10 years, staff costs as a percentage of both income and passenger revenue (often called ‘labour’s share’) have fallen on London Underground and Overground networks.
• On London Underground, which accounts for 52% of TfL’s income, labour’s share of income has fallen by 23% and its share of passenger revenue by 24%. The amount of passenger revenue generated per member of staff has grown by 56%.
• On London Overground, labour’s share of income has fallen by 14% and its share of passenger revenue fell by 37%. The amount of passenger revenue generated per member of staff grew by 130% up to 2016/17.

The research also reveals that London’s Transport workers have delivered significant productivity growth in the last 10 years:

• London Underground workers have delivered a 45% growth in productivity in the last 10 years
• London Overground workers’ productivity has grown by 77% in the same time

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;

“We’re hearing a lot of nonsense about staff costs in TfL at the moment, but the truth is that however you cut it our members have consistently delivered more bang for the public’s buck, year on year.

“Our members on the Underground have delivered a 45% growth in productivity in the last 10 years, while the amount of passenger revenue generated per member of staff has grown by 56% .

“This is a workforce that’s delivered during the times of growth, put their lives on the line in the crisis and now they’re being targeted by a government that’s addicted to driving down the living standards of ordinary people.”

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