London

London Underground strike to hit FA Cup Final

An empty Piccadilly line train stopped at Stamford Brook underground station Image copyright PA
Image caption Transport for London said plans were in place "to keep disruption to a minimum".

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

The RMT Union said more than 1,000 of its members will walk out from 07:00 BST on 17 May.

It will affect football fans travelling to Wembley on 18 May for the final between Manchester City and Watford.

Transport for London (TfL) said plans were in place "to keep disruption to a minimum".

Workers involved in the dispute are based at maintenance depots across London.

The union claimed that plans to "decimate" inspection frequencies would lead to more Tube train failures.

General Secretary Mick Cash said its members voted by 9-1 in favour of industrial action.

He added: "The 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.

"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.

"We remain available for genuine and serious talks."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Wembley Stadium's closest London Underground station is Wembley Park

In response to the strike action announcement, TfL explained the proposed changes have been backed by the regulator Office of Road and Rail.

A spokeswoman said: "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.

"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."

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