Tube boss vows to fight unions in a bid to modernise the network

TUBE boss Mike Brown vowed not to back down in his long-running dispute with unions over his plans to cut 800 ticket office jobs.

“I want staff to be more flexible, I make no apology for that,” said the London Underground managing director. “We will not run a service that is stuck in the 1960s. There is no alternative to modernisation.”

Brown faces his fourth strike on 29 November in several weeks over his plans to cut the ticket office jobs.

The RMT and the Transport and Salaried Staffs’ Association say it will leave stations undermanned and call the move “dangerous and unnecessary.”

But Brown, who is overseeing the upgrade of the Tube since the collapse of the £29bn public private partnership in the summer, says the issue is about modernisation rather than safety.

Brown said: “We are willing to listen to safety concerns. But the unions have not put a genuine safety issue on the table. Unions need to wake up to the reality of where we are right now.”

Both sides are locked in talks, but have so far made little progress. Unions have pledged not to strike over Christmas.