Action is over pay, jobs and other issues

Tube trainRMT, TSSA and Unite members have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action in a series of disputes on London Underground.

The unions are currently in talks with ACAS in a bid to resolve the dispute before a planned 24-hour strike starting next Wednesday.

The action is over a range of disputes, including pay and night-running, a continuing threat to station staff jobs, the employment of agency staff to undertake training and changes to door alarm and safety check procedures.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Balloting has concluded today in a series of disputes on London Underground, including the linked issues of pay and night running, and also in the long-running dispute over station staffing, mass job cuts and ticket office closures – each of the ballots has delivered an overwhelming mandate for action which will now be considered by the union’s executive and a further statement will be issued by the union later.

“The industrial relations situation on the tube has sunk to an almost unprecedented low with all four unions united and balloting for action over pay and working arrangements due to be ushered in under the guise of the Mayor’s “night tube” vanity project in just 10 weeks time. Casualisation, the attack on station jobs and the undermining of safety are all part and parcel of an overall cash-driven agenda coming right from the very top.

“It is simply outrageous that management, in a mad dash to bulldoze through the night running stunt, have smashed apart long-term agreements and have resorted to trying to bully staff into accepting roster changes at a local level and the message from RMT and our sister unions is clear – we are not having it.

“These changes would also lock our members into a culture of anti-social hours and appalling working conditions that would rip apart work/life balance whilst at the same time they are being hit with pay proposals that would undermine their standard of living.

“RMT will be co-ordinating campaigning with our sister tube unions as we seek to defend negotiating agreements, decent pay and the rights and working conditions of our members.”

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “We hope that this result will show Boris Johnson just how angry our members are at his plans to try and rush the start of the Night Tube without any detailed agreement on manning levels.

“Under plans we have been shown so far, some Zone 3 stations will be left with just one staff member on duty in the middle of the night. That is no way to run a service which prides itself on safety and security.

“We want to reach a deal which safeguards both passengers and staff. We will be hoping to reach agreement on that in the coming days.”

Unite regional officer Hugh Roberts said: “Unite members working on the Tube have voted robustly in favour of strike action and there is a strong impetus for London Underground management to reach an equitable settlement through talks at Acas.”

 

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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