17th Apr 2012 9:33am | By Vesela Gladicheva
Tube passengers will have to endure disruption to their journeys following maintenance workers' announcement that they would stage a 72-hour strike next week in a row over pensions and benefits.
The Railway, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) union said its members would walk out at 4pm on Tuesday, 24 April, and would not return to work until Friday, 27 April.
The announcement follows a 4-1 vote by union members in favour of strike action to demand equality with other Tube workers.
Tube Lines staff work on the Piccadilly, Northern and Jubilee lines, providing emergency repairs and other maintenance services across the entire network.
The RTM, which represents 1,000 staff at Tube Lines, said its members wished to join the Transport for London pension scheme in order to receive the same travel concessions as those who work for London Underground, the union said.
RMT officials said the strike would have a "widespread" impact on Tube services across the network.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “This dispute is about justice and about ensuring that all groups of staff under the umbrella of London Underground receive the same rights and benefits, and our members have no choice but to strike to secure those basic rights.
“We have gone through all the negotiating channels on both these issues but Tube Lines has refused to budge and have refused to engage in meaningful talks and that pig-headed approach has raised the temperature on the shop floor and is reflected in this result.”
Lee Jones, operations director for Tube Lines, commented: "We note that the outcome of the RMT's ballot showed that less than 44% of its members voted in favour of strike action.”
He also said negotiations with the unions were ongoing. “We have been discussing this issue with our trade unions for some time, and we will continue to try to find a way forward through constructive discussion.”
Image via Getty
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