Belfast Telegraph

Strike to go ahead on London's Tube following failure of talks

A strike by London Underground workers is to go ahead after last-ditch talks failed to resolve a row over "displacement" of staff.

Hundreds of thousands of Tube passengers face disruption to services because of the 24-hour walkout by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union from 9pm tonight.

The Central and Waterloo and City lines will be affected, with other stations and lines likely to be busier than normal.

There will be no service on Wednesday on the Waterloo & City line, used by workers in the City of London, and limited Central line services.

Peter McNaught, operations director for the Central Line, said the strike was "unnecessary", adding: " We have made all reasonable efforts to resolve this dispute through talking through the issues with the unions and we have minimised the number of employees affected from over 30 to eight.

"All of these moves are within the long-standing agreements we have made with the unions.

"We urge them to engage with us to resolve this issue and to withdraw the strike action, which will only cause needless disruption to Londoners."

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: "RMT negotiators have made strenuous efforts through the Acas machinery to resolve this dispute but the door has been slammed in our faces.

"If LU are allowed to get away with this move on the Central Line they will start shunting drivers around at the drop of a hat regardless of the consequences.

"Our members will be sent out from pillar to post to plug gaps that are solely down to staffing shortages.

"With massive budget cuts in the pipeline at LU this is a straw in the wind as to how the company expects to operate in the future."

Commuters will also face disruption on Wednesday because of another strike by RMT members on Southern Railway in a long-running staffing dispute.

:: Members of the RMT and the drivers' union Aslef working on London's Night Tube are to be balloted for strikes in a row over pay and jobs, months after the service was launched.