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Second Tube strike to go ahead

A second strike by London Underground workers is set to go ahead from Sunday evening, causing travel chaos for workers and other passengers, union leaders have warned.

Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT) and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) are due to walk out from 7pm for 24 hours in a row over plans to axe 800 jobs.

Tube workers went on strike earlier this month and are due to take two further days of action in November unless the deadlock is broken.

TSSA leader Gerry Doherty has said that London Mayor Boris Johnson seems determined to "grandstand" at the Conservative Party conference next week rather than sitting down with the unions to try to resolve the dispute.

"He seems more interested in winning cheap applause, and furthering his political career, than solving a dispute which centres on his insistence that 800 ticket office jobs must go immediately.

"He was elected after opposing Ken Livingstone's plans to close 40 ticket officers. He now wants cuts at more than 250 and wonders why we are angry. No one likes a hypocrite and that is what Boris is being on this issue."

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "RMT remains totally opposed to the planned Tube cuts which will have devastating consequences for passenger and staff safety.

"We now have the ludicrous situation where passenger groups are being consulted after London Underground have already begun bulldozing through their plans. That makes a mockery of the process and reinforces the union position that the cuts be halted to allow proper discussions and negotiations to take place with our representatives.

"RMT and TSSA members have been faced with a stark choice - either sit back and accept the undermining of safety and safe staffing levels and wait for a disaster, or stand up and fight on this issue in the interests of Londoners. We have opted to stand up and fight for a safe and secure future for the Tube network."

In a separate dispute over pay, maintenance staff employed by engineering firm Alstom will stage a 24-hour strike from 7pm next Monday. LU has pledged there will be no compulsory redundancies and said changes to ticket office staffing levels are needed after the success of the Oyster pre-paid card system.


From Belfast Telegraph