Tube workers vote in favour of strikes

by Alister POOLE on August 12, 2010

The looming threat of Tube strike causing widespread travel chaos has risen after members of the RMT transport union decided to vote in favour of industrial action.

Of the workings participating in the ballot, 76 per cent voted in favour of strikes while 88 per cent voted for similar action short of striking. The RMT will now engage in negotiations with the TSSA, its sister transport union, prior to the TSSA balloting its workers next week.

Both unions have been threatening industrial action since the news that 800 jobs could be lost when the government scraps 140 ticket offices on the London Underground. Bob Crow, general secretary for RMT, said that it was less than two weeks since the Potters Bar rail crash that the government had revealed plans to cut back on maintenance workers, staffing and inspection crews. He added that LU management clearly had not learned from the crash that frequent inspections and more staff help avoid loss of life.

RMT members, Mr Crow added, are sending a clear message with the latest ballot, that strike action will be taken if the Tube is left unstaffed turning it into a ‘death trap’. Mr Crow also stated that London Mayor Boris Johnson needed to pay attention to the looming threat as the LU unfolds on ‘his watch’.

RMT workers have grown increasingly fearful of spending cuts and job losses since the new coalition government announced massive budget cuts across the public sector. The government has also been encouraging commuters to take advantage of public transport in order to cut down on the UK’s carbon footprint and motor vehicle use.

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