Take snow day as leave, Tube workers told

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The Independent Online

London Underground staff were up in arms today after being told they will not be paid for failing to turn up for work last Monday when the capital was snowbound.

London's bus network was suspended and Tubes were disrupted because of the extreme weather, which forced millions of people to stay off work across the UK.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) said its members working in ticket offices and in other grades on LU have been told they must claim last Monday as unpaid leave or a day out of their annual holidays.

Union reps will meet this morning and will hold talks with managers later amid growing anger against LU bosses and London Mayor Boris Johnson.

"We think this is gross hypocrisy on the Mayor's part," said Manuel Cortes, assistant general secretary of the TSSA.

"He cancels all the buses and most of the Tube and urges Londoners not to risk trying to get to work in the worst snowstorm for a generation.

"So our members could not get in because Boris had effectively halted all public transport because the main line trains weren't running either.

"Yet here he is wanting to penalise them because of his own actions. It is unfair and he should tell Transport for London to stop being so mean to its loyal staff."

The union said it believed staff who worked from home, including senior managers, would be paid.

A spokesman for Transport for London said: "We have made it very clear that if staff were able to get to work or a suitable alternative place of work to assist, they will be paid as normal.

"We did not cancel any transport services last week.

"Although services were disrupted due to heavy snow, the vast majority of London Underground staff attended work as normal.

"We recognise that exceptional weather conditions made it impossible for some staff to get to work, but we maintain a strict policy that anyone who can get into work should do so.

"If staff are not able to provide a good reason for why they were not at work, they will be expected to take annual or unpaid leave for that day."