Tube strike: London Underground staff to walk out during FA Cup final weekend

Tens of thousands of football fans will be disrupted

London Underground maintenance and engineering workers will strike for three days over the FA Cup final weekend later this month
London Underground maintenance and engineering workers will strike for three days over the FA Cup final weekend later this month

London Underground maintenance and engineering workers will stage a three-day strike over the weekend of the FA Cup final in a row over safety.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said more than 1,000 of its members will walk out from 7am on Friday 17 May until 7am on Monday 20 May.

Workers voted for the strike by nine to one.

Tens of thousands of football fans will be travelling to Wembley on Saturday 18 May for the game between Manchester City and Watford. The union claimed train preparation and inspection schedules were being “hacked back”, which would “have a devastating impact on both service reliability and public safety”.

The maintenance staff, who work at depots across the network, are “critical” to the day-to-day operation of the Tube, said RMT. It claims new London Underground proposals will “decimate” the frequency of inspection “beyond all recognition”.

“The nine to one ballot result showed just how angry tube staff are at proposals London Underground are attempting to bulldoze through that would decimate the inspection and safety culture on the fleet,” said RMT general secretary Mick Cash.

“Despite that result Tube bosses have ignored the workforce and are pressing ahead and it is that intransigence that has left us no option but to confirm industrial action today.

“Our message is clear, London Underground should pull back immediately rather than crash on regardless of the consequences of their actions.

“We remain available for genuine and serious talks.”

Peter McNaught, director of asset operations for London Underground, said: “We have plans in place to ensure we can deliver a Tube service for our customers, and keep disruption to a minimum.

“The safety of customers and staff is our top priority and our proposals do not compromise this. Train checks will continue daily, with every train thoroughly checked to guarantee safety.

“Our proposals are to change the frequencies of some less safety critical checks, with the regulator, the Office of Rail and Road, satisfied with our approach.

“We have actively consulted with the Trade Unions over this issue and we remain open for discussions on how to resolve this dispute without unnecessary industrial action.”

Additional reporting from agencies

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