London Underground faces strike by power workers

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The London Underground system faces total shutdown in a month's time after union leaders sanctioned a ballot on industrial action among workers who control the power supply to the network.

The 300 staff involved - blue collar workers and management - are seeking to defend their pension rights which they believe will be undermined when their department is taken over by a private consortium. The employees, who are confidently expected to support disruption in the ballot, also want to defend their rights to travel concessions. Jimmy Knapp, general secretary of the RMT transport union, said: "Rail privatisation has been a disaster, we shouldn't make the same mistake with London Underground."