RMT to ballot LU fleet staff over further strikes
The RMT has confirmed that it will be balloting its London Underground (LU) fleet staff over potential industrial action, threatening further chaos to the Tube network.
The union has accused LU’s management of numerous breaches of previous agreements, including a failure to consult RMT over reduced staffing levels, failure to recruit enough additional staff to cover shifts on the new Night Tube and ‘attacking’ RMT reps for carrying out their trade union duties.
The dispute marks the potential for further disruption to rail commuters in the south east, after LU station staff associated with RMT and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) went on strike earlier this week in an unrelated dispute over staff cuts and ticket office closures.
Mick Cash, general secretary of RMT, said: “LU management have gone back on agreements over the Night Tube and staffing levels and actively attack our reps for carrying out union duties.”
“RMT members and the union will not stand by while an intransigent management attempts to ride roughshod over Tube workers. That is why we are balloting our fleet staff members for industrial action.”
Other complaints raised by the RMT with LU include its management not following the correct process regarding roster changes and its removal of a long-established practice of ‘phone in days’ without the union’s agreement.
The union confirmed that it will remain available for talks with LU in an attempt to resolve the dispute without the need for strike action or action short of a strike.
A TfL spokesperson called RMT’s ballot of its fleet staff “unnecessary”, saying that the union had not sought to resolve its grievances with TfL directly.
“We urge the RMT to meet with us for talks rather than threatening needless strike action,” the spokesperson said.
Earlier this week London mayor Sadiq Khan faced criticism from fellow members of the Greater London Authority for his failure to avert the Tube strike, which he had dismissed as ‘pointless’ after an independent review by London’s transport watchdog supported ticket office closures.
(Image c. Nick Ansell, PA Wire)
Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.