Tube strike July 2014: Commute for Tour de France London cycle could be disrupted by power workers' walkout

Members of trade unions Unite, TSSA, and RMT could walk out next week 

A potential tube strike could affect commuters when the Tour de France cycle race arrives in London, if action by power workers on the Underground goes ahead.

Members of trade unions Unite, TSSA and RMT are set to walk out from 8pm next Tuesday until 8pm on Wednesday 9 July in a long-running row over conditions and other issues.

The dispute involves workers transferring to other organisations some years ago and then coming back under London Underground management, but with different conditions.

Unite regional officer Hugh Roberts said there is a "real possibility that the Underground could close down", which he believes would affect the travel plans of thousands of people wanting to watch the Tour de France.

Mr Roberts said: "The public should be under no doubts this could and should have been resolved weeks ago. The blame for the fact that it hasn't sits squarely on the shoulders of London Underground's obstructive management.

"We called off a strike due to be held over the May bank holiday to hold talks with Acas, but London Underground shifted the goalposts and has refused to meaningfully negotiate further.

"The issue here is broken promises, unfair treatment over differentials and worsening conditions. London Underground management's penny-pinching attitude is not being driven by common sense, but by the background agenda of budget cuts in the Treasury's funding."

Mick Cash, acting general secretary of RMT, urged his members in a message to support strike action in order to "make sure that the company returns to negotiations with a genuine approach to reach final agreement on this dispute".

A spokesperson for LU however said services should not be affected. Richard Jones, LU's head of command and control, said there will be "no visible impact on the network" should strike action go ahead.

"We have resolved a number of issues and have proposed a further reward package for staff in return for changes to the way our people work which will give us greater flexibility and staff availability when the network needs it most."

The Tour starts with the Grand Depart in Yorkshire next Saturday and continues until the traditional Champs Elysees climax on July 27. Team Sky will see Chris Froome at the helm after it was confirmed that Sir Bradley Wiggins will not ride in the 2014 race.

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