RMT members vote for strikes over Tube Lines sale

By Simon Hayes on June 7, 2010 2:10 PM |

00jul17transport2web.jpgTube strikes could be on the way after RMT members at maintenance contractor Tube Lines voted for industrial action.

The Canary Wharf-based consortium is being taken over by Transport for London in a £310million deal due to be completed at the end of this month, and the RMT is concerned this will lead to job and pay cuts.

A ballot of RMT members resulted in 92 per cent voting for strike action. Union chiefs now have to decide when to stage the action.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "We have made it perfectly clear to Transport for London that we do not expect our members to take the hit for the final collapse of the disastrous tube privatisation experiment.

"We have sought concrete assurances that staff will not be expected to pay off the Tube Lines' exit costs in job losses, attacks on safe working conditions and an undermining of pay rates. Now that we have this massive mandate for action it's essential that those assurances are forthcoming as a matter of urgency."

Under the TfL deal Tube Lines will continue to carry out maintenance of the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines as a wholly-owned subsidiary, but will relinquish responsibility for the upgrades due to be delivered on the lines.

A Tube Lines spokesman said: "We are still discussing the issue of pay and conditions with the RMT through the agreed negotiating process.

"These discussions are constructive and we hope that an agreement can be reached to avoid strike action which would cause unnecessary disruption to the travelling public."