Tube faces more strikes after vote

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The Independent Online
More strikes on London Underground appeared inevitable last night after members of the RMT rail union voted in favour of industrial action, writes Christian Wolmar.

The RMT executive meets today to decide on what action to take - which is likely to be 24-hour or 48-hour strikes, for which seven days' notice must be given. Previous strikes by RMT members have been disruptive, with stations being closed and cancellations of some trains. But, unlike their Aslef counterparts who represent drivers, they were unable to paralyse the network in three days of action taken earlier this year. Aslef has accepted the 3 per cent offer from London Underground, but RMT is seeking 6 per cent.

The move for strike action was by 1,735 to 969 votes but only about half the members voted. A London Transport spokesman said that about 70 per cent of RMT's members either did not vote in the ballot or voted against taking action which meant "it was not a mandate for industrial action".

However, Wilf Proudfoot, RMT's assistant secretary, said: "The ballot is the third time that RMT members have voted for industrial action in this dispute, and I hope this time management get the message that they have to negotiate seriously." The executive committee had postponed a decision on further industrial action to consult with members, but added that there was "no doubt after today's vote they will be calling on members to take action".

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