Latest Rail News

24.04.12

72-hour Tube strike over TfL pensions

A 72-hour strike on the Tube starts later today, in a dispute over pensions and benefits. The RMT union voted to take industrial action from 4pm, involving workers who maintain and upgrade three lines on the Tube.

RMT is arguing for Tube Lines staff to join Transport forLondon’s pension scheme and to receive travel concessions. The union asserts the impact of the strike will disrupt services across the system, yet London Underground suggests it will have no significant effect.

Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, said: “The inexplicable refusal of London Underground to agree to equalise pensions and benefits rights for our maintenance members is deeply suspect and points clearly to a secret plan to reprivatise this work in an action replay of the PPP (public private partnership) disaster.

“We understand there are already vulture companies hovering in the wings for another shot at robbingLondonblind through PPP2 and reducing the network to chaos. Instead of playing these political and ideological games with our members' pensions and benefits, Tube bosses should be getting round the table and resolving this straightforward dispute.”

Jon Lamonte, Tube Lines’ chief executive, said: “Since becoming part of Transport for London, all Tube Lines’ employees have kept their existing terms and conditions of employment.

“The RMT’s ballot showed that less than 44% of its members voted in favour of strike action. We urge the RMT leadership to return to discussions, and we remain ready to continue such discussions at any time to try and avert the strike.

“Should this industrial action go ahead, we expect it to have no significant effect on Tube services. We have well-practised contingency plans in place to ensure that the essential maintenance required on the railway can either go ahead as planned or can be rearranged. We do not and will not put passenger or staff safety at risk.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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