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Monday, 11 March, 2002, 15:34 GMT
'Train captains' vote in favour of strike
Docklands Light Railway
Union members are calling for a "substantial" wage rise
Rail strikes are set to spread to London's Docklands Light Railway (DLR) following a vote in favour of industrial action by staff.

Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union backed strikes by 3-1 as part of a campaign for a "substantial" wage rise.

The union wants to close the gap in pay between DLR staff and workers on London Underground, which it says is more than 20%.

DLR management will meet with leaders of the RMT union on Thursday in an attempt to avert a strike.

DLR station
Trains are manned by so-called "train captains"

Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT, said: "The DLR cannot plead poverty because it is a successful railway, thanks to the hard work, loyalty and commitment of its employees.

"It is time for the company to recognise that commitment by making a realistic pay offer."

DLR trains run automatically without the need for drivers, but they are manned by so-called "train captains" who are capable of taking the controls in cases of emergency.

The pay of a train captain is around 22,300 compared with 28,700 for a Tube driver, a wage gap of 29%, according to the RMT.

Union members, who previously rejected a 4% offer, voted by 117 in favour of strikes, with 36 against in a 70% turnout.

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05 Feb 02 | UK
Rail disputes at a glance
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