The Underground workers in London are gearing up for strike staff after crucial talks on June 5 collapsed with management which refused to offer any significant improvement to the pay and conditions of the workforce across the network. The tube workers belong to the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and are moving into a ballot for strike involving 10,000 workers across all grades.
According to reports, the company has offered a two-year pay deal worth retail price index (RPI) inflation plus 0.1 per cent followed by RPI plus 0.2 per cent. But union has refused to accept that offer citing it as not enough.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said that “the failure of tube bosses to come up with proposals that meet the union call for serious improvements in both pay and working conditions has been the catalyst for the collapse of the talks today. That failure by the management side means we have no option but to accelerate the balloting process and escalate the dispute. RMT is angry and frustrated that the company has opted to ignore the massive contribution tube staff make to this city, delivering services, including the night tube, often in difficult operational conditions”.
“RMT remains available for further talks but no one should underestimate our determination to secure a pay and conditions deal that reflect the huge contribution of all London Underground staff”, he added.
RMT had also given a call to fight plans to privatize waste collection on London Underground. In another front, the union had called for 24-Hour strike on June 18 on Bluestar Buses (also known as Go South Buses) in Eastleigh, Totton and Poole, after drivers, cleaners and ticket office staff voted with an overwhelming 87% in favor of taking action over pay.