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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tube staff set dates for strike action

Up to 10,000 London Underground workers will walk out in strike action over the next few months. Members of the RMT and TSSA are in a dispute over plans to
cut jobs at ticket offices across the network.

Tube Running a Skeleton Crew

The first strike will be on Monday, September 6 2010 from 5pm and last 24 hours and involves maintenance and engineering staff. Then other workers, including train drivers, signallers and station staff, will strike for 24 hours from 9pm on September 6 and this will be followed by walkouts at the same time on October 3, November 2 and November 28.

RMT leader Bob Crow said "London Underground and Mayor Boris Johnson must understand that the cuts they want to impose are unacceptable to our members and will undermine safety and service for the travelling public."

"We have already had potential disasters narrowly averted, with fires at Euston and Oxford Circus and a runaway train on the Northern Line, and Boris Johnson's planned cuts would deal a potentially fatal blow to the ability to deal with emergencies."

In a press release today London Underground responded with the following "We need to change, but we will do so without compromising safety, without compulsory redundancies, and in a way that means all stations will continue to be staffed at all times and all stations with a ticket office will continue to have one.

"The weak mandate for strike action, which saw only around 35 per cent of TSSA members and less than a third of RMT members voting for a walkout, should resonate with the unions' leadership.

"These threatened strikes are in nobody's interest, and should not go ahead."

They claim that some ticket offices now regularly sell fewer than 10 tickets an hour. The quietest ticket offices include North Ealing, which sells less than six tickets per hour, and Latimer Road and Moor Park, which sell only around seven tickets per hour.

There is still potentially time for more talks to happen and the disputes to be called off or postponed, but with both unions announcing a number of dates, it will take some severe negotiations with ACAS for this to happen.

Update - 26th August - Just to make matters worse around 200 workers on the Northern and Jubilee lines will walk out on September 5th for 24 hours from 7pm, and then again on October 2nd, November 1st, and November 27th.

The staff in this case are up in arms about an "insulting" pay rise offer of 2%. Bob Crow said "The deal on offer is worth less than half of those won by other Tube workers this year, and the massive vote for action should tell Alstom all they need to know about our members' determination to win a fair pay deal."

Considering Bob Crow, had a salary rise of 12% this year (he now earns over £90,000), you can see why he thinks 2% is insulting!

Update - 26th November - talks to avert the Tube strikes have failed so the fourth strike takes place on Sunday 28th November and Monday 29th November.

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