Union Votes For Strike On Piccadilly Line

One day action could be start of 'season of strikes'

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The BBC are reporting that Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) members working on the Piccadilly line have voted for industrial action on 4th-5th December.

They are warning of a 24 hour walkout to be followed by a 48 hour walkout if their demands are not met. The action isn't directly about recent changes announced by Transport for London (TfL) including closure of ticket offices and extended night time tube operation at the weekends but has raised fears that this is the beginning of a protracted period on industrial action with the unions aiming to halt the changes. The RMT say that the action is due 'the systematic abuse of drivers and the unilateral ripping up of negotiated agreements'.

The strike will commence at noon on December 4th and end 24 hours later.

A London Underground spokesman describe the decision as "completely unnecessary"

Piccadilly line manager Tony Matthews told the BBC, "We met with them earlier this week to talk through the unrelated local issues they have raised, all of which have either been or are being addressed.

"At this very productive meeting we gave our assurances to continue towards resolving these matters.

"I would urge the RMT leadership to continue to discuss any matters which they feel have not been dealt with, in the normal way rather than resorting to threats of industrial action."

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "The overwhelming 88% vote in favour of strike action can leave management in no doubt that the union is not prepared to accept the continuing abuse of individual drivers and negotiated agreements on the Piccadilly Line."

The RMT have also serviced notice of the start of the balloting process for a strike over the closure of ticket offices. This is likely to mean further and more widespread disruption in January.

Phil Hufton, London Underground's Chief Operating Officer, said: '"We've promised customers that we'll introduce a 24 hour Tube service on five lines during 2015, and our commitment is that all Tube stations will remain staffed at all times when services are operating. In future there'll be more staff in ticket halls and on gatelines to help customers buy the right ticket and keep them safe and secure.

"We're clear that there'll be a job for everyone at LU who wants to work for us and be flexible, that we'll make these changes with no compulsory redundancies, and that we'll involve staff in our plans at every stage and support them through change."

November 28, 2013