Around 1,000 members of London Underground's biggest union working for the privatised Tube Lines infrastructure consortium are to mount two 72-hour strikes after voting overwhelmingly for action over pay and conditions.
RMT members at the company will down tools between noon on Wednesday August 20th and noon on Saturday August 23rd. The second 72-hour strike will begin at noon on Wednesday September 3rd and end at noon on Saturday September 6th. Tube Lines workers voted by a margin of more than three to one for action after the company tabled an offer inferior to the deal already agreed by the union for staff doing identical work on Metronet.
Tube Lines maintains track and trains on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines, but it also operates emergency response units across the Tube network, and the stoppage is expected to have a serious effect on London Underground's ability to run a service.
"RMT members on Tube Lines do the same work as colleagues on Metronet and they have today made it clear that they are not prepared to be left worse off," said RMT general secretary Bob Crow.
"Tube Lines has made enormous profits on the backs of our members' hard work, yet they seem to expect that they will accept an inferior deal on pay, pensions and conditions.
"Our members are facing the reality of a five-per cent inflation rate and soaring energy and food bills, and if Tube Lines wants to avoid a crippling strike it should get back around the table with an offer that meets their needs," Bob Crow said.
Fire Brigades Union Supports RMT Industrial Action on Safety Grounds
The Fire Brigades Union have also come out in support of the strike, saying Tube Lines is putting safety on the London Underground at risk by underpaying their staff who are doing vital work in support of the rescue services on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines.
"On safety grounds we support the 72-hour industrial action to be taken by the RMT starting on Wednesday" said FBU executive member for London Ian Leahair. "They should pay the same as Metronet pays. Safety should come before profits on Tube Lines' agenda."