Tube staff may strike over pay

The
RMT is to ballot London Underground workers over possible strike action over
pay.

The
RMT said a series of 24-hour, or even 48-hour, stoppages could start in the
first half of September.

RMT
workers striking over safety concerns brought London Underground to a virtual
halt last month when a 24-hour strike was held.

The
latest dispute concerns an LU initial pay offer of 3.2 per cent to which a
no-strike clause was attached and which the RMT turned down.

A
2.5 per cent offer was then made, which was then increased to 3 per cent.

The
offer was turned down, but LU said it would bring in the rise anyway.

RMT
general secretary Bob Crow said: "The company has been spinning the lie
that we have turned down an increased pay offer.

"That
is absolute rubbish. In fact, the company reduced its offer when we refused to
sign away our right to strike, and LU is refusing the chance to have this
dispute settled by independent mediation.

"Mediation
settled last year’s pay round. What are they afraid of this year?

"In
the last 10 years, Tube staff levels have fallen by a third, while passenger
numbers are up by 30 per cent and passenger revenue has doubled.

"Our
members deserve recognition that they work harder and carry far greater
responsibility."

Train
drivers union ASLEF is also expected to call for a ballot over industrial
action.

By Quentin Reade

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