Boris bike strike: RMT union announces 48-hour walk out

Contractor Serco described the move as "wholly unnecessary"

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The Independent Online

Workers on the so-called 'Boris bike' hire scheme in London have announced a 48-hour strike next week in a dispute over pay, shift patterns and working conditions.

Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union employed by Serco on the bike hire scheme, nick-named after London Mayor Boris Johnson, will begin the strike on Sunday evening.

Employees responsible for moving bikes around the capital and maintaining them voted in favour of action over pay, shift patterns and other issues.

RMT also cited "continuous bullying and harassment of members" in their list of grievances.

Bob Crow, RMT general secretary said that by voting 100 per cent for strike action, union members demonstrated their seriousness towards "this fight for justice on pay and working conditions on the London cycle scheme".

“Despite talks with the company, we have not been able to make significant progress and so we now have no option but to announce strike dates this month",  a statement released on their website said.

 He added: “The scheme has attracted global publicity but now risks collapsing into chaos through a massive under-investment in staff, bikes and docking stations.”

Serco spokesman Andrew Hill branded the decision to strike as "wholly unnecessary".

 “Together with our recognised trade union Community, we have already reached an agreement on the issues the RMT have raised around pay and working pattern changes", he said.

“This was achieved through a comprehensive, thorough and fair consultation with staff that resulted in a pay rise of 2 per cent, which is above the national average and included other improvements to their terms and conditions.

"We will make every effort to ensure that we minimise its impact for the thousands of Londoners who rely on the scheme to get around the city every day.”