A controlled explosion was carried out on a suspect package at North Greenwich Tube station on 20 October, highlighting the ongoing possibility of a further terrorist atrocity on London Underground. Nobody was injured this time and the diligence and professionalism of the workers involved must be recognised.
On 7/7, frontline London Underground staff were amongst the first to respond, rushing to incident scenes, arranging and facilitating emergency service response, and evacuating passengers to safety at stations across London.
However, at North Greenwich, Tubeworker understands that the station was understaffed, and the control room was shut. This is a direct result of London Underground cutting hundreds of front line staff who were once responsible for the safety of hundreds of thousands of passengers.
Workers at North Greenwich responded excellently, but this situation could have turned out very differently. Tube bosses' job cuts and de-staffing of control rooms has made the Tube less safe.
This is the second recent incident on the Jubilee Line extension, following Canning Town, where LU's staffing cuts have been implicated. Fortunately, no-one has died. But the ever-present risk is that cuts will kill.
RMT and TSSA's upcoming ballots for strikes and action short against job cuts are absolutely vital, as the first stage of a renewed fightback for safe staffing.