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Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Threat of another tube strike

Just when we thought we'd got away with a year of no tube strikes it looks like there may be another one in the offing.

The Evening Standard reported:

"The dispute dates back to last year when Ken Livingstone "bought off "the unions hours before strike action halted the network by promising them more money when he became mayor.

"Union leaders accepted a three per cent pay rise and returned to work. Mr Livingstone appointed a mediator - Professor Frank Burchill - who has recommended an extra .75 per cent......

"The two private consortia, Metronet and Tube Lines, which took over maintenance and improvement of the Underground earlier this year, are refusing to backdate the pay to last year........

"Both Metronet and Tube Lines say they will pay the new rates - including the extra recommended by Professor Burchill - but only from the time they took over. "

This dispute effects some 6,500 staff who are under the private consortia's employ and not London Underground.

Bob Crow leader of the main railway union the RMT, said: "London Underground has paid their staff the 16 months back pay owing on the deal. Now it is up to Metronet and Tube Lines to pay what is owed to 6,500 workers handed over to the private sector since the deal was made."

Watch this space for more news of the strike.

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