London Underground is considering cutting 1,000 jobs, including HR roles, partly as a result of the takeover of failed private sector engineering contractor Metronet.
The firm said no front-line staff or Tube drivers would go, but the cuts would come by cutting temporary and administrative posts.
A Transport for London spokesman said discussions with unions had started. Many roles would be lost through vacant positions going unfilled and temporary posts not being renewed to avoid mandatory redundancies, he said.
Jobs set to be affected include those in finance, IT, procurement, HR, legal and administration.
However, Gerry Doherty, leader of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association union, told the BBC: “This is a real body blow for staff and the London travelling public. There is no way that cuts of this size will not hit services. We should be investing in the Underground in the run up to the Olympics, not cutting back.”
Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT), said: “Any attempt to impose compulsory redundancies among our members or to undermine their terms and conditions will be met with a ballot for industrial action.”
Metronet Railwent into administration in July 2007.