Londoners are braced for misery as the RMT rail union prepares to ballot its members on a summer Tube strike on Wednesday.
The RMT claims it is being hurt by staff job cuts and privatisation under Transport for London’s (TfL) cost-cutting programme, which has seen it slash back office costs by about 30 per cent so far.
Nearly 2,000 staff members, including those involved in engineering, signals and the track and control centre will be asked if they want to strike over the summer.
That means the Underground network could grind to a halt over if a summer Tube strike goes ahead.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Staff across London Underground are furious at the attempts to smuggle in a creeping programme of cuts and privatisation under the cloak of the Transformation Programme and we will begin balloting nearly 2000 staff at the sharp end of the plans this week.
“RMT on London Underground is now on a war footing and it’s about time the management, and the London Mayor, woke up and took notice. If we are forced by their inaction to escalate the dispute then that is exactly we will do.
“RMT will not stand back while jobs and safety are carved up and services like waste collection are knocked out to the cheapest bidder just to bail out savage cuts imposed on TfL by this rotten Tory government.”
A spokesperson for TfL said: “Over the next three years we will continue to reduce our operating costs whilst delivering improvements to our service, and we are consulting fully with our staff and trade unions before any changes are confirmed.
“None of this will compromise the safety of customers or staff, which will always remain our top priority. We hope that the RMT will engage with us in this consultation process.”