The Invisibility Trick

Management's mantra is that their plans for stations will make staff more 'visible' to passengers. But this is an illusion: you'd have to be daft to fall for it.

How can removing 950 staff posts from stations make staff more visible?! Answer: it can't.

The bosses' spin is that taking staff out of ticket offices and putting them out around the station makes them easier to see. But firstly, 950 of the posts being taken out of the ticket offices are not going out around the stations; they are disappearing.

And secondly, management's spin relies on an assumption that ticket offices are invisible. But they are anything but. They are in a fixed place with an illuminated sign, easy to find. Are you really 'more visible' out around the station where the person looking for you doesn't know where you are? And when they do find you, there won't be an orderly queue for your services but a pack jostling each other for your attention.

It'll be hard to be visible through the chaos that the cuts and closures would cause. All the more reason to fight to stop them.


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An example

In the propaganda produced by London Underground, there are diagrams of stations. In the one for Euston, the current picture shows 7 'visible' members of staff. The picture of the post-reorganisation station shows 12. But when you count the number of stick people who represent staff on the picture, you see that under current arrangements, there are actually 10 bodies on the diagram. But three of them are in the ticket office! So LU has not included them in its count of current staffing levels.

Does LU think anyone will fall for this? You can't simply say that staff are 'invisible' in order to pretend they perform no function. Euston has one of the busiest ticket offices in LU, with one of the longest recorded time in queue scores. The ticket office staff are busy; customers can see them and use their services; more are needed.