Page last updated at 10:03 GMT, Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Hundreds of Tube workers vote over strike action

Tube train
Maintenance staff will be balloted for industrial action

Hundreds of London Underground (LU) workers are to be balloted for strikes in a series of rows over new rosters and the use of outside contractors.

The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said 750 maintenance staff will vote over the next few days.

It accused LU of ripping up agreements, "bulldozing through" shift patterns and of threatening job security.

LU called on the RMT to stop threatening industrial action and return to talks.

The ballot for action, which closes on 19 January, will involve maintenance staff on the former Metronet sections of the Tube network - all lines except for the Piccadilly, Northern and Jubilee.

It is in fact the RMT that is seeking to break our agreements
LU spokesman

RMT General secretary Bob Crow said: "LU seem to be hell-bent on confrontation by tearing up the signals framework agreement and by unilaterally introducing new working practices which mean they can make people work what hours they like, when they like.

"On top of that, our members' job security is being undermined by the handing over of work to external private contractors which could be done internally."

An LU spokesman said: "London Underground is planning to introduce a roster covering 24 hours a day seven days a week to ensure planned engineering staff are always available.

"Whilst this agreement already exists, it is in fact the RMT that is seeking to break our agreements.

"We have consulted fully with staff and unions on the proposed changes to rosters, and we continue to discuss this at a local level.

"The RMT leadership should stop threatening industrial action again and resume meaningful talks on this issue. Any action will do nothing except lose RMT members pay."

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