Strike Threatens Bank Holiday Tube Travel
Monday 19th May 2014
A union claims there is a "real possibility" London Underground will completely close down this bank holiday weekend as workers who control the power room prepare to strike.
The 40 technicians, mostly members of Unite, are based at the power control room in Blackfriars Road where they provide the power for the 270 station underground network.
Talks are being held between union officials and LU management at conciliation service Acas to try and resolve the dispute.
It centres around the fact that the workforce was transfered to other organisations several years ago but has since come back under the management of London Underground, leading to inconsistency surrounding pensions and entitlements.
Unite is also asking for more money for its members for training new recruits claiming management wants the staff
to take on the additional responsibility for no extra cash.
The strike is is due to start at 00.01 on Saturday (24 May) and end at 8am on Tuesday (27 May).
However, Unite claims if the strike goes ahead London Underground could shut down from Friday evening until Tuesday morning, so passengers are not stranded on tubes without power.
Unite regional officer Hugh Roberts said: “There is a real possibility that the underground could close down over the bank holiday weekend. Unite is working very hard to achieve a fair settlement for our members – and to avoid the industrial action. The ball is very much in the management’s court.
"The issue here is broken promises, unfair treatment over differentials and worsening conditions. London Underground management’s penny pinching attitude is not being driven by common sense, but by the background agenda of budget cuts in the Treasury’s funding.
"The management has had a long-time to resolve this dispute and we urge them to do so very quickly, so Londoners and domestic and foreign visitors can enjoy the many delights of the capital over the late spring bank holiday."
Transport for London is insisting any industrial action will not affect passengers.
Richard Jones, LU's Head of Command and Control, said: "Unite, TSSA and RMT have raised a number of issues with us around workplace and terms and conditions relating to staff in our power control team, all of which are either being addressed or we are happy to discuss.
"We are disappointed that the unions have chosen to call strike action and we would urge all unions involved in this dispute to continue discussions to resolve this matter without the threat of industrial action."