Tube workers vote to strike over pay

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The Independent Online

Workers at London Underground have voted to strike in a dispute over pay, threatening travel chaos for millions of people.

Workers at London Underground have voted to strike in a dispute over pay, threatening travel chaos for millions of people.

Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport Union backed industrial action by 2,614 to 643.

A series of walkouts on the Tube is now threatened, bringing huge disruption to the capital.

Around 3 million commuters, visitors and other travellers use the Tube every day and a strike would cause massive problems in London.

The union has been in discussions with LU for several weeks about this year's pay claim and has turned down a 3-per-cent offer.

The company had said it was confident of reaching agreement and wants to have further negotiations to try to head off industrial action.

The union's general secretary Bob Crow said the vote gave an "overwhelming mandate" for strikes.

The union's executive will meet later today to decide its next move and whether to co-ordinate any industrial action with disruption against Network Rail which is involved in a separate pay dispute.

Mr Crow said: "This result will send a clear message to London Underground, Tube Lines and Metronet that our members are not prepared to be strung along or messed around and will not stand attempts to impose a settlement.

"This pay round should have been settled by April but here we are, two months later, with an unresolved dispute.

"If the employers are sincere in wanting to avoid strike action, the answer remains in their hands. They must stop messing around and negotiate seriously."

The union is seeking a "substantial" pay rise and a cut in working hours to 32 a week.

Metronet has also imposed a 3-per-cent pay rise on its 5,000 Tube workers.

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