Page last updated at 08:40 GMT, Tuesday, 2 June 2009 09:40 UK

'Breakdown' in Tube strike talks

Tube train
TfL says the RMT has avoided engaging in 'meaningful talks'

Talks aimed at averting a 48-hour Tube strike in a pay and jobs row have "completely broken down", a union said.

Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union members plan to strike from 1859 BST on 9 June, in a move expected to bring most of the Tube to a standstill.

The RMT accused Transport for London (TfL) of "rank hypocrisy" in rejecting a 5% pay rise request while paying 123 TfL managers more than £100,000 a year.

TfL said the union "continues to avoid engaging in any meaningful talks".

The RMT has accused London Underground (LU) of refusing to abide by an agreement which ensured job security and ruled out compulsory redundancies which would put 3,000 jobs at risk.

A five-year pay offer by LU has also been described as "unacceptable" by the union.

The RMT's strike is also in opposition to TfL's planned £2.4bn efficiency savings package across the whole network - buses, trams and Docklands Light Railways as well as the Tube - which the union warned could lead to compulsory redundancies.

It has already been announced that TfL senior managers will see their salaries frozen this year
TfL spokesman

TfL's annual report showed that 123 of its managers earn more than £100,000 a year, with five earning more than £250,000 plus bonuses, the RMT said.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "Those very same managers who have been attacking our members over pay and job security, and who have turned a blind eye to the bullying culture now rife on the Underground, have scooped the jackpot when it comes to their own pay and bonuses."

A TfL spokesman said: "The RMT leadership is demanding a 5% pay rise for fewer hours work.

"They continue to avoid engaging in any meaningful talks, whereas we are ready to sit down with them right now.

"Rather than pay cuts, TfL's offer actually guarantees LU employees real pay increases each year for the next five years - few Londoners can claim the same level of security.

"It has already been announced that TfL senior managers will see their salaries frozen this year.

"The RMT leadership should start talking to us rather than threatening strike action that is supported by less than 30% of their membership, will lose their members pay and will cause unnecessary frustration and disruption to Londoners.

"We are ready to meet at any time, anywhere."



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