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Posted on 27 August 2013 at 14:33 GMT

Bank holiday weekend strike by London Overground workers

Brian Debus

Transport for London (TfL) is threatening the safety of 70 million London Overground rail passengers a year.

TfL wants driver-only operated trains, with the loss of 130 guards, on the North London line and the Gospel Oak to Barking line by December this year.

These workers, members of the RMT union, took two days' strike action last Sunday and bank holiday Monday.

This led to the train announcer at Stratford station repeatedly saying over the tannoy system that the Clapham to Richmond, the Clapham to Willesden, and the Gospel Oak to Barking lines had no service due to strike action.

The only trains running were those manned by non-union members and by managers who had to come into work over the bank holiday weekend.

One of the guards on strike outlined the dangers of TfL's driver-only proposal. He said that on one service where the carriage doors are controlled by the driver, there had been 100 instances of the passenger doors opening on the wrong side at various stations.

There will now be meetings with the union members and reps to consider further action.

In the year to 31 March 2012 London Overground's pre-tax profits increased to 8.192 million from 1.634 million - a rise of over 500%.

London Overground paid a dividend of 8.463 million to its shareholders.

Last year the company had 21.329 million in the bank. The RMT says: "That money should be used to retain conductors and ensure the safety of London train passengers, instead of being used to line the pockets of company shareholders".

Where to protest at TfL plans:

For suggested text, visit: www.actionforrail.org

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