London Overground backs strike in face of compulsory job losses

COMMUTERS who use the booming London Overground network are set to face disruption after unions yesterday announced strike action in a row over job losses.

No date has been set for the walkouts, which relate to proposals to sack 130 train guards for cost-cutting reasons.

Overground services on the Euston-Watford and East London Line already operate with only a driver on board as part of the Overground network. But the RMT union insists it would be “safety-critical” to extend this policy to the rest of the network.

RMT boss Bob Crow yesterday branded the decision an “appalling, cash-driven assault on our guards members and the absolutely essential role that they play”.

But Tory assembly member Richard Tracey said the policy will save £5m a year: “Why are we paying people to simply shut doors and bell the driver to move the train?”

Separately, TfL yesterday appointed a contractor to lengthen Overground platforms as part of an effort to increase Overground capacity by 25 per cent.