Thousands of London Underground staff vote to go on strike, says RMT

 
Rebecca Smith
RMT balloted 400 drivers on the Piccadilly Line
RMT balloted 400 drivers on the Piccadilly Line (Source: Getty)

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has announced that workers on the London Underground have voted to go on strike in two separate disputes.

The RMT carried out two separate ballots: one of 400 Piccadilly Line drivers and the other of over 3,000 station workers. The union said the former was over a "wholesale breakdown" of industrial relations on the line, while it said the latter was over the closure of ticket offices.

  • On the Piccadilly dispute: 84 per cent voted for strike action and 87 per cent for action short of strike
  • On the 3,000 plus station members dispute: 85 per cent voted for strike action and 94 per cent for action short of a strike

Read more: RMT rally outside parliament before days of strikes on Southern Rail trains

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: "RMT members have now voted overwhelmingly for action in both these disputes and the results will now be considered by the union's executive committee. The union remains available for talks."

While dates for action haven't been set, it's looking as if they'll be in the run-up to Christmas, causing havoc for commuters.

Steve Griffiths, London Underground’s chief operating officer, said: “We urge the RMT leadership and members to work with us constructively on the issues they have raised, rather than threaten to disrupt our customers with strikes.

"An independent review‎ of the closure of ticket offices is being conducted by London TravelWatch to ensure that we continue to deliver high quality customer service, and we have talks planned at ACAS next week to discuss the RMT’s concerns on the Piccadilly line.”

An independent review into the ticket offices by London TravelWatch is due by the end of the year, though London Assembly Transport Committee chair Caroline Pidgeon recently told City A.M. she can't see any being reopened in the future.

The RMT has also been balloting drivers on Southern Rail. The outcome of that is due on Friday.

The Transport Salaried Staff's Association (TSSA) also announced today that hundreds of members working on the London Underground will be balloted on strike action this week. The ballot will start on Friday 18 November and close on 29 November.

It says that is over safety standards.

Read more: Night Tube passenger numbers have been 50 per cent higher than forecast

Last week, a long-running pay dispute between TfL and Tube workers was brought to a close. The deal will grant Tube workers access to pension schemes and pay rises in line with inflation up until 2019. They will also get extra money for the launch of the Night Tube.

The Night Tube launches on the Northern line this Friday 18 November and on the Piccadilly Line from 16 December.

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