London Underground train staff to strike from next month
Thousands of workers on London's Underground train network are to stage a series of strikes from next month in a row over plans to cut 800 jobs, their union said on Wednesday.
Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association working on the Tube network will walk out for 24 hours from 5:00 pm (1600 GMT) on Monday, September 6.
Maintenance and engineering staff will be involved in the first stoppage, with similar action planned at the same time on October 3, November 2 and November 28.
Other workers, including train drivers, signallers and station staff, will strike for 24 hours from 9:00 pm on September 6 followed by walkouts at the same time on October 3, November 2 and November 28.
The unions said up to 10,000 workers will be involved in the action, which follows votes in favour of strikes by both unions over the plans to cut the jobs at ticket offices across the network.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow claimed the cuts could lead to further safety problems after the recent case of a runaway train which travelled for several miles (kilometres) on one line with other trains having to be cleared out of its path.
"London Underground and (London) Mayor Boris Johnson must understand that the cuts they want to impose are unacceptable to our members and will undermine safety and service for the travelling public," he said.
Britain is braced for an "autumn of discontent" with unions warning of action over the coalition government's plans to slash public spending in a bid to reduce the country's record deficit.
© 2010 AFP