Tube staff to strike in 'alcohol sackings' row
London Underground workers are to stage a one-day strike in a row over the sacking of maintenance staff, threatening travel chaos for commuters and visitors.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union employed by Metronet voted to back a campaign of industrial action by five to one. The strike, on 12 March, will be the biggest walkout on the Tube for more than 18 months.
The action will cripple services on the District, Metropolitan, Circle, Hammersmith & City and East London lines which are used by around 1.4 million people a day.
Tube drivers could refuse to take out trains if they have concerns over safety as a result of industrial action, which could cause even further disruption.
The dispute follows the sacking of eight maintenance workers at Farringdon in central London after the discovery of more than 100 empty beer cans and an empty brandy bottle in their mess room.
The men protested their innocence and said they knew nothing about the cans or the bottle.
Metronet sacked the workers, saying they were fully aware that alcohol was being stored on the premises, which was against the company's "robust" policy.
The firm said it was not suggesting the men had been drinking but that they were aware alcohol was being stored against the rules.
Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT, said the workers had voted "overwhelmingly" for strike action.
"All of the people who were sacked were tested and proved negative for alcohol.
"There is not a shred of evidence that says any of these men were guilty. Management should do the decent thing and stop conducting a witch hunt in which, if the witch drowns, she is not guilty and if she stays afloat she is a witch.
"Otherwise there will be serious disputation on Tube lines."
RMT members refused to drive Tube trains during the bitter firefighters' strike because they were concerned about the safety of passengers.
The union had been planning to take the drivers' case to an employment tribunal after their pay was docked but LU settled the case before it was heard.
- 1 Three of Pope Francis' relatives die in Argentina car crash, including two young great-nephews
- 5 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
Syria conflict: President Assad finally turns on Isis as government steps up campaign against militant strongholds
Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
Ice Bucket Challenge: Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Oprah – the most entertaining reactions so far
Iraq crisis: Islamic State's message to America - 'We will drown you all in blood'
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict
£30000 - £34000 per annum: Charter Selection: This highly successful organisat...
£60000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Develo...
£230 - £260 per day + competitive: Orgtel: MI Analyst-Reporting-Bank-Edinburgh...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + bonus+benefits+package: Harrington Starr: Junior D...