Friday, 3 December 2021

London faces new strike as RMT union ballots Underground maintenance staff

LONDON is facing another strike on the Underground network as the RMT Union ballots maintenance staff, just days after a 24-hour walkout from station staff created travel chaos in the UK capital. The union said the strike ballot is in reaction to a “breakdown” in industrial relations and “numerous breaches” of agreed machineries and agreements by bosses, including a claim that Transport for London (TfL) officials have not consulted the RMT over staff reductions. “Management have gone back on agreements over the Night Tube and staffing levels and actively attack our reps for carrying out union duties,” said Mick Cash, the general secretary of the RMT. “RMT members and the union will not stand by while an intransigent management attempts to ride roughshod over Tube workers. That is why we are balloting our fleet staff members for industrial action.” A TfL spokesman said: “The RMT is balloting for unnecessary strike action, this time involving train maintenance staff, without seeking to resolve these issues with us. We urge the RMT to meet with us for talks rather than threatening needless strike action.”

The comments come ahead of a meeting between senior Underground officials and the RMT’s sister union the TSSA. The parties will discuss the long-running station staff dispute, triggered after the roll-out of former Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s Fit for Future Stations programme. Underground bosses have promised to hire more station staff, but the TSSA and the RMT have disagreed with management over the numbers needed. “Let’s face it, with unions, Sadiq Khan and LU now all agreeing that our Tube needs hundreds more staff to begin to undo the terrible damage unleashed by Boris Johnson’s butchering of 800 jobs, a resolution must be within our grasp,” said Manuel Cortes, the general secretary of the TSSA.

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