London

Piccadilly Tube drivers to be balloted over 'relations breakdown'

London Underground train Image copyright PA
Image caption The Piccadilly line serves 53 stations including Heathrow Airport terminals

Drivers working on the Tube's Piccadilly line are to be balloted for strikes over what unions said was a "comprehensive breakdown" in relations.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union who work on the fourth busiest line will vote next week on whether to start industrial action.

The RMT's Mick Cash said the union was protecting members from an "abuse of procedures" by Tube management.

London Underground (LU) called for talks to "resolve these local issues".

An average of 600,000 passengers use the Piccadilly line each day.

Mick Cash, the RMT's general secretary, claimed workers were being "picked off by a vindictive and aggressive management" who were not "addressing fundamental safety issues".

LU's Operations Director Pat Hansberry said the balloting was "unnecessary" and called for talks to "avoid subjecting Londoners to another pointless strike threat."

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Media captionA passenger filmed the doors opening on a moving Piccadilly train

In January, all trains on the line had to be inspected after a door opened on a train as it approached Heathrow Terminal 4.

When it happened the RMT claimed it was the fifth time it had occurred in recent weeks, but LU called the door opening an "isolated incident".

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