Underground staff and bosses row over safety
TUBE workers have voted overwhelmingly to strike if talks on staffing issues with London Underground (LU) continue towards the abyss.
Members of the Transport and Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA), usually seen as the least strike-happy of the Tube unions, voted by 81 percent to 19 percent in favour of strike action.
"We hope that LU now recognise that feeling and will reach a sensible agreement with us which ensures that London has the safest Tube system in the world in the run-up to the Olympic Games in four years' time," said TSSA general secretary Gerry Doherty.
The issues behind the strike-call are the increasing use of agency staff by LU and the closure and partial closure of some ticket offices. Unions say agency staff compromise passenger safety; LU say "these issues have nothing whatsoever to do with safety."
TSSA members are mostly to be found working in station ticket offices and control rooms so a strike wouldn't totally close down London Underground. However, the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, which represents most of LU's staff is also set for a strike ballot on broadly similar issues.