TUBE staff on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines are to strike next week over a ‘pig-headed’ approach by Transport for London, which refuses to let one section of its workforce into the company pension scheme.

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Around 1,000 mostly maintenance staff voted 4-1 in favour of the strikes that are due to take place from 4pm next Tuesday 24 April until Friday 27 April.

At issue are the pensions and travel allowances of staff who work for Tube Lines, once a private company, but now owned by Transport for London.

Backed by their union – the RMT – Tube Lines staff want their pensions and travel allowances upgraded to the level of workers on the rest of the network.

Staff at Metronet, another former private company now owned by TfL, have been allowed to join the main pension fund and they now qualify for the same travel concessions as the vast majority of TfL workers.

“This dispute is about justice and about ensuring that all groups of staff receive the same rights and benefits, and our members have no choice but to strike to secure those basic rights,” said Bob Crow, leader of the RMT.

“We have gone through all the negotiating channels, but Tube Lines has refused to budge and that pig-headed approach has raised the temperature on the shop floor and has resulted in this strike action being called.”

Not surprisingly, Tube Lines bosses see things differently.

“A strike on this issue is completely unnecessary and will not achieve anything,” said the company’s Lee Jones.

“We urge the RMT to end their strike threat. Should a strike go ahead, we have plans in place which will enable LU to operate Tube services on all three lines and to minimise any disruption.”