Page last updated at 17:43 GMT, Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Tube maintenance staff vote to strike over rosters

Tube train
Maintenance staff voted 12-1 in favour of strike

London Underground (LU) maintenance staff have voted "overwhelmingly" to strike over rosters, the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has said.

More than 750 staff were balloted over work conditions affecting those on maintenance and signalling contracts. Staff voted 12-1 in favour of striking.

The union accused LU of adopting "bully-boy" tactics on rosters, outsourcing work and contracts.

LU said the strike call was "ludicrous" as the new roster affected 30 workers.

'Bully-boy management'

The dispute is over the working conditions of maintenance staff on the former Metronet sections of the Tube network - all lines except for the Piccadilly, Northern and Jubilee.

The union's general secretary Bob Crow said: "It's their bully-boy management style which has forced us into this dispute.

"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."

Mr Crow added that jobs were at risk as LU was handing over "work to external private contractors which could be done internally".

LU's chief maintenance officer Phil Hufton denied the union's allegations and said the decision to strike over rosters was "ludicrous".

He said: "We are planning to introduce a roster covering 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to ensure planned engineering staff are always available. That agreement already exists, but the RMT is trying to tear it up.

"They should stop threatening industrial action at every opportunity."

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Tube staff vote on strike action
13 Jan 10 |  London

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