London tube workers to strike for eight days

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Tube workers to strike for 8 days
Tube workers to strike for 8 days

London Underground staff are threatening an eight-day strike next week in a long-running row over conditions and other issues.

Members of three trade unions are set to walk out from 8pm next Tuesday until 8pm on Wednesday July 9.

Unite warned that the industrial action could cause travel disruption when the Tour de France cycle race arrives in London on July 7.

A previous strike was called off to allow talks, but unions said these have now broken down. Words and photo: PA.

Mick Cash, acting general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said in a message to his members: "I urge you all to stand firm together and support this strike action to make sure that the company returns to negotiations with a genuine approach to reach final agreement on this dispute about the outsourcing of your work and the proper reinstatement of your length of service."

Unite regional officer Hugh Roberts said: "Because of the hardline management stance, there is a real possibility that the Underground could close down, affecting the travel plans of thousands of people wanting to watch the Tour de France on July 7.

"The public should be under no doubts this could and should have been resolved weeks ago. The blame for the fact that it hasn't sits squarely on the shoulders of London Underground's obstructive management.

"We called off a strike due to be held over the May bank holiday to hold talks with Acas, but London Underground shifted the goalposts and has refused to meaningfully negotiate further.

"The issue here is broken promises, unfair treatment over differentials and worsening conditions.
London Underground management's penny-pinching attitude is not being driven by common sense,
but by the background agenda of budget cuts in the Treasury's funding."

The dispute involves workers transferring to other organisations some years ago and then coming back under London Underground management, but with different conditions.

Richard Jones, LU's head of command and control, said: "We remain committed to discussions with Unite, TSSA and RMT representatives around working terms and conditions for staff in our power control team.

"We have resolved a number of issues and have proposed a further reward package for staff in return for changes to the way our people work which will give us greater flexibility and staff availability when the network needs it most.

"It is disappointing that the Unite and RMT unions have rejected our proposal, and I urge them to continue with constructive discussions rather than threaten pointless industrial action. We are developing contingency plans to minimise the impact on the network should the strike action go ahead."

LU said later: "Due to detailed planning there will be no visible impact on the network should the strike action go ahead."

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