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Friday, 22 November, 2002, 21:07 GMT
Anger at Tube staff treatment
Queues at Victoria Underground Station
Deep-lying Tube stations have been closed
A union has reacted angrily after 29 Tube staff were sent home without pay for refusing to work during the firefighters' strike because of safety concerns.

London underground (LU) said absentees included 27 drivers.

A restricted number of trains are running on the Bakerloo line and travellers are being warned to allow extra time for their journeys.

LU has also closed 22 deep-lying stations during the strike following a safety assessment.

Stations closed on Friday
Belsize Park
Borough
Caledonian Road
Chalk Farm
Covent Garden
Edgware Road (Bakerloo Line)
Elephant & Castle
Gloucester Road - no Piccadilly line
Goodge Street
Hampstead
Holland Park
Holloway Road
Kennington
Lambeth North
Lancaster Gate
Mornington Crescent
Queensway
Regent's Park
Russell Square
Shadwell Road - peak hours
Tufnell Park
Wapping
General secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, Bob Crow, said: "LU have today decided to break the law.

"They are well aware that our members have the right and responsibility under health and safety legislation to refuse to work in conditions they believe put themselves and members of the public in danger.

"Instead of respecting that right and allocating alternative work, LU have continued to intimidate our members and have sent them home without pay."

RMT members are already being balloted for strike action over what the union regarded as unacceptable management treatment of staff during the first firefighters' strike earlier this month.

Groundless fears

LU said it had written to the 300 staff who refused to work during the 48-hour stoppage, but had still been paid.

An LU spokeswoman said: "We have listened to their concerns. Their fears are groundless. This time they were sent home without pay."

Aslef, the drivers' union, said if disciplinary action was taken against the drivers it would be "in dispute" with London Underground.

But it is still considering its response. A spokesman said the union was concerned its members had lost pay.

Agreement announced

Meanwhile, London Fire Brigade Commissioner Brian Robinson announced an agreement with the Fire Brigades Union over arrangements for the recall of its members in the event of a major incident in London.

As of 1730GMT on Friday, the army had received 95 calls and were called out to 69 incidents in London.

There have also been three hoax calls.

A spokesman said this was "considerably down on last week".

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Lucy Atherton in Central London
"London Underground are saying all the stations open are perfectly safe"
London Underground HR Director Bob Mason
"We won't pay the workers for as long as they don't work"

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20 Nov 02 | England
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