Tube maintenance staff vote for industrial action

Maintenance workers on London Underground have voted in favour of industrial action short of a strike in a row over cuts, it was announced today.

The Rail Maritime and Transport union said workers voted by 88% in favour of action on a turnout of over 50% amid claims of safety-critical cuts in spending.

Up to 800 former employees of Metronet are involved in the dispute, which is separate to the row over ticket office job cuts which has led to two 24-hour strikes.

General secretary Bob Crow said: "We have warned repeatedly that London Underground/Transport for London's cuts plans are playing fast and loose with safety and will turn the tube into a death trap.

"It is a scandal that the London Mayor, Boris Johnson and his transport officials have chosen to ignore those warnings. The anger of our members, who carry out the safety-critical function of maintaining the Tube fleet, at the cuts being imposed from above is reflected in this massive vote for action.

"We remain available for talks but the current cuts to Tube safety must be halted before we have a tragedy on our hands. RMT members have been forced into a position where they have no choice but to take action on behalf of Londoners who depend daily on a safe transport system."

LU officials met with leaders of the RMT and Transport Salaried Staffs Association at the conciliation service Acas yesterday in a bid to avert fresh strikes in the ticket office jobs row.

An Acas spokesman said: "The parties are currently considering proposals put forward by Acas and we expect a response to this in the very near future."