Page last updated at 16:42 GMT, Thursday, 19 November 2009

Tube strike looms as staff vote

Tube train
A 48-hour strike took place in June

The date of a vote on a Tube-wide strike over pay has been announced.

Ten thousand members of the Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) will decide on 21 December whether to bring the Underground to a halt.

They must give seven days notice of a strike, raising the prospect of Tube shutdown in the New Year's Eve run-up.

The RMT described a 1.5% pay increase as "derisory" but Underground bosses said talks had already been scheduled to discuss the issues.

Drivers, station and technical staff are also balloting for action on four local issues, the RMT has said.

Members will vote on strike action over pay, working conditions, duty rosters and the sacking of a staff member.

It is inexcusable that the RMT leadership once again raises the threat of strike action
Richard Parry, LU

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: "Our members on London Underground and Transport for London continue to show their determination to fight for pay.

"In these four separate ballots on four localised trade disputes RMT is showing again that this trade union will not be found wanting when it comes to fighting for justice."

But Richard Parry, managing director of LU, said: "RMT's leadership are making these threats when discussions are planned, making a nonsense of their claim to be interested in talks.

"Instead, they are again intent on threatening further inconvenience for Londoners, many of whom will have had their pay cut or will have lost their jobs in the toughest economic conditions in decades."

He added: "It is inexcusable that the RMT leadership once again raises the threat of strike action."

In June tens of thousands of people suffered travel chaos as Tube workers walked out for 48 hours over the pay dispute.

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