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Fit to Strike

The tit-for-tat games appeared in last night’s Evening Standard – the same issue in which TfL had a full page open letter from Mike Brown saying that no jobs would be lost during the changes, it also featured a column from Bob Crow demanding that no jobs would be lost during the changes.

It seems we all have to suffer whilst the latest round of political games is played out.

Here’s one take on it:

Boris, Mike Brown and the heads of TfL want to move ticket office staff out onto the front line. Let’s say that 100% of stations have ticket office right now (they don’t, 12 stations out of 270 already don’t have ticket offices), they’re saying they want almost NO stations to have staffed ticket offices.

The unions (rightly, as their job) are going to fight this, and they’ll probably end up being met half way in a compromise – around half of the ticket offices will go, and half will stay open.

But what if that’s what the bosses of TfL actually want the whole time?  But they know that if they propose only half to close, then the unions will argue for compromise, and (say) three quarters will remain open.

So the TfL bosses go for the whole thing – complete closure, the unions argue against it, we all have to wait whilst the strikes are played out, and eventually they agree on only half of them being closed.  The unions smile because they think they’ve staved off complete closure, and the TfL bosses secretly smile because they got what they wanted all along.

It’s just that whilst this happens, several million Londoners are massively inconvenienced for 48 hours.

All these changes occur as part of a new slogan ‘Fit for the Future’, that TfL are now using, as we discovered in this awkwardly-presented Mike Brown video, in which he lists five commitments.   We can think of five of our own, but watch the video first and we’ll have more on that tomorrow …