Thursday, September 20, 2007

London news round-up

Safety protest on the tube

TUBE DRIVERS last week refused to operate trains on the Central Line after brake parts fell off a train on to tracks. The incident led to a safety check on the line with 85 trains being inspected and maintenance staff working through the night.
The check revealed a separate fault on another train and an investigation has been launched.
The RMT transport union says that passengers are being put at risk because corners are being cut. Union spokesperson Derek Kotz said: “We believe the public private partnership has undermined safety.
“There are serious fault lines and our members are always vigilant. We have to ask ourselves how something fell off a train – there are supposed to be protocols.
“We will not compromise on safety. This could have caused a derailment. If any of our members were disciplined for refusing to drive their trains we would ballot for a strike.”

Tower Hamlets gardeners to strike?

MEMBERS of the GMB general union employed as gardeners by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets are considering strike action following a pay dispute with a private contractor.
Fifty gardeners are being balloted by the GMB in the row with grounds maintenance firm Fountains and the ballot results are expected later this month.
Union officials accused the contractor of using taxpayers’ money in other parts of their business instead of meeting their members’ demands.
GMB official Bert Schouwenburg said: “Tower Hamlets Council is sitting on its hands and watching Fountains divert the borough’s taxpayers’ money to prop up their business elsewhere.”

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