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Friday, December 10, 2010

Minority vote for Tube strike, yet Crow says down tools

RMT union leaders have called for Northern line drivers at the Morden depot to strike for 24 hours from Friday 17 December until Saturday 18 December 2010, in a row over staff dismissals. However, the ballots which took place earlier this week showed Northern line staff rejected the strike call.

Of the 192 staff balloted over the dispute, only 80 voted, with less than 20 per cent voting for strike action - 38 people. The driver in question has not even been dismissed.

Bob Crow on the Bakerloo Line by Mags Halliday

A similar low ballot turnout occurred over the dismissal of a Bakerloo Line driver. Just 42 people voted for strike action out of a total of 119 balloted - that's a third of the total members.

Howard Collins, LU's chief operating officer, said: 'The RMT leadership has utterly failed in its attempt to gain support from staff on the Northern line for a driver being dealt with over allegations of totally unacceptable and abusive behaviour towards colleagues.

"It is also utterly outrageous for the RMT to threaten strike action in support of someone dismissed for a serious breach of safety rules on the Bakerloo line.

'The facts speak for themselves. Yet again, the RMT leadership shows utter contempt for Londoners and the integrity of their own strike ballot process.

'They should end these pointless strike threats and get on with working with us to deliver an upgraded Tube system for London
.'

Bakerloo Line London Underground tube drivers based at Elephant & Castle and Queens Park, have also been asked by the union to stop working at the same time.

Bob Crow makes no mention of the low turnout and the low numbers of people voting for strike action and says "Instead of harassing our members and activists on trumped up charges the London Underground management should be directing their energies into reaching a settlement to the on-going disputes over tube safety and safe staffing levels."

Instead of striking when the majority of people who voted clearly didn't want to strike, I'd suggest the RMT leaders should be directing their energies into proving exactly what safety issues are at stake in the wider Tube strikes.

On a practical level, I'd imagine these calls to "down tools" will have little impact on the Northern & Bakerloo Lines. London Underground (& I'm guessing all the people who didn't vote to strike) fully intends to run services on these and all other lines. But check the Tube's website before you leave for the latest information.

Related Posts

Tube Strikes could escalate in the New Year
Tube Drivers may strike over Boxing Day pay

Update 17th December 2010 - According to Harrow Observer Bakerloo line services will be suspended between Harrow and Wealdstone and Queens Park stations on 18th December due to the above action.

Members of the RMT union will walk out at 9pm 17th December for 24 hours and while tonight London Underground (LU) said the service will be 'largely unaffected', tomorrow only a partial service will be in operation south from Queens Park south to Elephant and Castle.


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