London's Tube workers to strike

Trade union approves industrial action after drivers had their demand for triple pay rejected.

    Transport for London (TFL), which runs the Tube, has objected to the planned Boxing Day strike [Reuters]

    Drivers on London's Underground train system are to go on strike in a row over holiday pay that will hit shoppers heading to the sales.

    Members of the ASLEF trade union voted in favour of the action on Sunday after transport chiefs refused their demand for triple pay and a day off for working on December 26, which is a national holiday in Britain known as Boxing Day.

    The walkout follows a series of Tube strikes by members of the RMT union in recent months over plans to axe 800 jobs in subway stations across the capital, which have caused misery for commuters.

    The action will hit consumers heading to traditional Boxing Day sales, and means the underground network will have been closed for two days as it was also shut for Christmas on December 25.

    Held 'to ransom'

    Mike Brown, London Underground's managing director, has accused the train drivers of "holding Londoners to ransom".

    "The ASLEF leadership is tearing up long-standing agreements that cover pay and annual leave and demanding even more - triple time and another day off," he said. "Londoners will simply be stunned at such a claim."

    However, ASLEF has claimed that their bosses should not be treating Boxing Day as an "ordinary working day".

    "The union argues that this is nonsense and insisted on generous premium rates for working on the day following Christmas Day," according to ASLEF, which said it was prepared to negotiate.

    Keith Norman, the union's general secretary, said: "I am prepared to discuss this with the company but if they want a meeting they are going to have to have something to put on the table."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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