Tube drivers call Boxing Day strike over pay demand


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Millions of Bank Holiday shoppers face travel chaos after London Underground workers announced a series of strikes in a dispute over bank holiday pay.

Aslef said its members will walk out for 24 hours on 26 December, 16 January and 3 and 13 February after failing to agree payments for working on Boxing Day. About 2,200 Aslef members were balloted, with 92 per cent of those who voted backing a campaign of industrial action. The union has been seeking "adequate compensation" for working on Boxing Day, saying they had been offered no extra pay.

London Underground (LU) called on Aslef to abandon the strikes, saying its "outrageous" claim for triple pay and a day off in lieu for working Boxing Day went against an agreement all unions were signed up to.

Howard Collins, LU's chief operating officer, said: "It is disgraceful for the Aslef leadership to threaten strike action while we are engaged in continuing discussions on this issue. The threat of strike action will not achieve anything and I urge Aslef to join us in our commitment to resolve this matter through discussions. LU has a long-standing agreement with all of its trade unions which cover staff working arrangements on bank holidays, and Boxing Day is included in that agreement. However, we have shown good faith in reviewing Boxing Day services so that staffing requirements are lower than when Aslef raised this matter last year, and Aslef should do the same."

A spokesman for the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "It is appalling and simply wrong that at a time when many Londoners are enduring a decline in salary in real terms and rising living costs that the union are asking for more money for something already included in their salaries. These demands would cost Londoners millions of pounds and divert funds from crucial improvements to the transport system, plus the suggestion of strike days in January and February is clearly calculated to cause maximum disruption."