Page last updated at 17:11 GMT, Wednesday, 8 April 2009 18:11 UK

Tube strike ballot will be rerun

Tube train
About 9,000 Tube staff will be balloted again for strike action

Nearly 9,000 staff on London's Underground will be re-balloted over strike plans after a legal challenge by Tube bosses.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union said it would hold the ballot again after receiving a legal letter.

Union officials are unhappy with proposals over pay and up to 3,000 job cuts.

A separate ballot of Transport for London members will also be rerun over the coming weeks.

The ballots are unconnected to a 24-hour strike being held at seven Tube stations in north and west London which started on Wednesday evening.

Tube bosses said they were disappointed at the decision to hold another ballot.

They said they had urged union officials to negotiate over the issues rather than ballot their members.

'Minor discrepancies'

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "Our members have given their overwhelming verdict on plans to cut jobs and pay, but Tube bosses have used anti-union laws to thwart their democratic will.

"Lawyers have leapt on minor discrepancies that cannot possibly have affected the outcome of the ballot.

"RMT, as it always does, conducted the ballot to the best of its ability in accordance with laws that are designed to make it as difficult as possible for working people to take industrial action - and the bigger the ballot the greater scope for lawyers to find fault."

He added that the "only possible response" was to rerun the ballots as quickly as possible.

A statement from London Underground said it had written to the RMT seeking clarification of the numbers of staff which the union sought to ballot for industrial action at various sites.

"The Trade Union and Labour Relations Act requires a union to specify the number of employees to be balloted at each workplace.

"However, it was unclear in a number of cases if the RMT was referring to a station, train depot or office location, or all three.

"We had asked the union to assist in establishing a clear picture of the workplaces and number of RMT members that were balloted at each location."

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Commuters face 24-hour strike
08 Apr 09 |  London

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