London Underground maintenance staff will stage two 48-hour strikes, starting later this month, in a row over jobs, pay and working conditions.
The RMT union has announced Tube Lines workers will walk out from 7pm on Wednesday 23 June until 7pm on Friday 25 June, and again from 7pm on Wednesday 14 July until 7pm on Friday 16 July.
The Tube maintenance workers voted 9:1 in favour of strikes.
Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT, said: “We have given Transport for London, and their newly-acquired subsidiary Tube Lines, plenty of opportunity to give us assurances that staff won’t take the hit for the failure of the doomed privatisation project.
“They have failed to give us those assurances, leaving us with absolutely no option but to announce these strike dates to protect both our members and the safety of the travelling public.”
Crow warned the lack of staff and resources meant essential repairs were being delayed and this situation would only worsen as public sector cuts take hold.
He added: “I would urge TfL/Tube Lines, even at this late stage, to get back around the table and give us the perfectly reasonable assurances we are seeking.”
A spokeswoman for Transport for London (TfL) said: “We strongly urge RMT leadership to call off the threatened strike action and to enter proper dialogue with us after our acquisition of Tube Lines.
“As the RMT leadership knows, we do not currently control Tube Lines. We are working to conclude the acquisition of the company by the end of June, which will benefit all Londoners by effectively ending the PPP, which has wasted hundreds of millions of pounds and led to delays to upgrade work.
“This is an existing dispute about pay and conditions and not about the proposed transfer of Tube Lines to TfL.”
A spokesman for Tube Lines said: “We are extremely disappointed by the RMT’s decision to take unnecessary strike action which would seriously inconvenience millions of people using the Tube. We are having the same talks with all the unions, so whilst discussions are ongoing we have the opportunity to achieve a deal through negotiation and this action would therefore be premature and unnecessarily disruptive.
“We urge the RMT to pull back from this action and join us in meaningful dialogue to discuss and resolve any concerns that they may have.”