Frank Dobson tables Parliamentary motion calling for underground to be properly staffed
The motion, tabled by Frank Dobson, reads: That this House notes 18th November 2012 marks the 25th anniversary of the King’s Cross Fire where 31 people lost their lives at Kings Cross Underground station; believes the tragedy then and today’s increasing passenger numbers and constant terrorist threat demonstrate that it is essential for the Underground to be properly staffed; and this house therefore opposes any proposals to de-staff stations and introduce automated trains and supports the retention of the safety regulations, including minimum staffing levels and training levels which were introduced in the aftermath of the Kings Cross tragedy.
RMT members, fellow trade unionists and community supporters yesterday demonstrated outside the station to mark the tragedy and highlight the continued need for a fully staffed and safe tube network.
The events are especially important in light of London Underground documents, which have been seen by RMT, which plan to impose an unattended network including de-staffing stations and introducing automated trains, measures which would necessitate the ripping up of the safety regulations, including minimum staffing levels, which were introduced in the aftermath of the Kings Cross tragedy.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “This Sunday we will mark the 25th anniversary of one of the greatest peace-time disasters to hit London when, due to a culture of complacency and systemic failure, 31 people lost their lives in the fire at King’s Cross underground station.
“We are marking the event with a public demonstration to send out the message that never again must the London Underground be dragged back to the same catalogue of complacency and failures which led us to King’s Cross.
“RMT, our trade union colleagues, politicians and the community will be calling on Boris Johnson and his officials to end once and for all the threatened cuts to station and platform staffing levels, the cuts to maintenance schedules and the persistent threat to bring in driverless trains, threats that Boris Johnson raised once again at the Tory Party conference only a few weeks ago.
“All of that posturing and corner-cutting has to stop and the safety regime introduced after King’s Cross must be both protected and developed to meet the modern challenge of ever greater tube passenger numbers.”
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