London Tube drivers to strike at Christmas in pay row

13th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Drivers on London's Underground train system will go on strike on December 26, the day after Christmas, in a row over holiday pay, the Aslef trade union announced Monday.

Members backed a walkout by 1,025 votes to 127 -- a margin of 9-1.

They want triple pay and a day off for drivers who work on the national holiday known as Boxing Day, but say managers have refused any extra pay.

The vote follows a string of Tube strikes by members of the RMT union in recent months over plans to axe 800 jobs in subway stations across the capital, which have caused misery for commuters.

The latest strike will hit shoppers heading to the traditional Boxing Day sales, and could see a two-day shutdown of the underground network, as the Tube closes for Christmas on December 25.

Aslef general secretary Keith Norman said: "It is painfully obvious to any reasonable person that Boxing Day is not an ordinary working day and therefore it is no surprise that Aslef members have reacted in the way they have."

A spokesman for Tube management company Transport for London said: "It is disgraceful that Aslef should try to hold Londoners and London Underground to ransom in this way.

"London Underground has a long-standing agreement with all of its trade unions which cover staff working arrangements on bank holidays, and Boxing Day is included in that agreement."

© 2010 AFP

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