By New Worker correspondent
London Underground (LU) workers belonging to the transport union RMT have voted by 9–1 in favour of three days of strike action in opposition to safety-critical cuts. The strike, scheduled for 17–20 May, involves over a thousand key LU maintenance and engineering staff who are opposing the drastic cutting of train preparation and inspection schedules, which RMT warns will have a devastating impact on both service reliability and public safety.
The planned action will also include the tube fleet maintenance teams who are imposing a ban on lone working, and a ban on working without valid licences and fire wardens being in place.
Earlier this year RMT warned LU of the problems over its intentions to extend the fleet train preparation schedules. London Underground refused to consult with RMT or to provide the union with full information on all safety aspects.
The union warns that what LU proposes will devastate inspection frequencies beyond all recognition. This will inevitably lead to more train failures in service, putting unacceptable pressure on members and leaving passengers at risk.
Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said: “The nine to one ballot result showed just how angry tube staff are at proposals London Underground are attempting to bulldoze through that would decimate the inspection and safety culture on the fleet. Despite that result tube bosses have ignored the workforce and are pressing ahead and it is that intransigence that has left us no option but to confirm industrial action today.”