TRADE unionists marking the 25th anniversary of a devastating Tube station fire in London yesterday demanded the scrapping of proposed staffing cuts.
Thirty-one people died when a fire on an escalator ripped through part of King’s Cross tube station on the evening of 18 November, 1987. The fire was thought to have been caused by a dropped match and a subsequent public inquiry led to tighter safety standards on London Underground.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union claims that a “threat” to cut staffing and introduce driverless trains would make the Underground unsafe.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said the recommendations made after the fire had made the Underground safer, as witnessed during terrorist attacks and emergencies on the Tube over the last quarter of a century.
“What we are seeing now is a number of people who want to reduce costs if they can,” he said. “We can’t allow for the accountants of Transport for London or the government to try and reduce the staffing and make it unsafe for workers and the people that use the Tube.”