LONDON UNDERGROUND faces a shutdown over Christmas with the news that hundreds of Tube workers are to vote about going on strike in support of two colleagues facing disciplinary action.
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In one of the cases, LU bosses say a Bakerloo line driver breached safety rules and regs; in the other, a Northern Line driver was suspended for what they call “unacceptable conduct towards London Underground colleagues”.
“Instead of harassing our members and activists on trumped-up charges, the London Underground management should be directing their energies into reaching a settlement to the ongoing disputes over tube safety and safe staffing levels,” said Bob Crow, leader of the RMT, t6he main union for Underground staff.
Voting by RMT drivers on whether to strike over the disciplinary issues takes place on 7 December, which would put the run-up to Christmas and the holiday season itself under serious threat of a strike.
The disciplinary-strike threat comes on the back of months of wrangling between LU and the RMtT over the company’s plan to cut 800 jobs and is evidence of a further slump in relations between the pair.
Transport for London, which controls London Underground, hit back at the RMT by saying that the disciplinary process in the two cases was not yet over.
“It is completely irresponsible for RMT to call a ballot for strike action when the disciplinary and appeal process for both drivers has not been exhausted and, in the case of the Northern line driver, has not even started,” said a spokesperson for Transport for London.
“For the RMT leadership to threaten to disrupt Londoners in this way shows a complete disregard for passengers.”