MINIMUM staff levels at Tube stations in north west London could be scaled back under leaked proposals.
Transport for London (TfL) plans to use a new formula to standardise the number of employees who should be working at each stop on sub-surface lines, including the Metropolitan line.
A document obtained by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) suggests 70 of 116 affected unspecified stations would have just two members of staff on duty, the fewest allowed by government fire regulations introduced after the King's Cross blaze of 1987.
The union believes TfL want to reduce worker levels to the smallest volume it can get away with.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "Despite all the election promises from Boris Johnson that he would not cut back on operational staff and ticket offices, the truth of what is going on behind closed doors at London Underground and TfL is starting to emerge.
"It is clear the cash-saving measures under discussion would devastate Tube safety.
"RMT is committed to fighting these plans."
Any strike action would also affect overground services including the Chiltern Railways services that run from Harrow-on-the-Hill to London Marylebone.
However, a TfL spokesman said: "This is yet more scaremongering by the RMT's leadership.
"We have no plans to reduce staffing below safe levels.
"Given the need to adapt as the Tube upgrades are delivered, and to ensure value for money, we are looking at how we can be best organised to provide that service.
"No decisions have yet been made, but stations will always be staffed at safe levels, and trade unions will be consulted about any proposals."
The leaked report says there has been no review of the way the minimum staff numbers for each station are calculated since station safety plans were introduced in 2001, creating inexplicable 'variables' in the levels at similar stations.
In one of the only specific examples given, Victoria would have four employees during the busy peak period - compared to the current quota of 12 - with two members of staff working at less busy times.
Hampstead, which lies on the Northern line and has a comparable number of customers to Harrow and Wealdstone, would see its levels halved from four to two.
Anthony Wood, chairman of the Harrow Public Transport Users' Association, said: "Obviously, we would be concerned at any staff reductions that led to passenger safety and confidence in travelling being affected.
"We would not want a situation that during meal breaks a station could effectively become unmanned, with nobody available to assist a passenger either with travel information or, particularly, in the event of an emergency."