London

London Tube workers balloted over strikes in pay row

Tube Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The RMT union has called on Sadiq Khan to lift a cap on pay and allow a deal to be done

Thousands of Tube workers are set to be balloted for strikes in a long-running dispute over pay.

A ballot of 10,000 London Underground (LU) staff has been moved by the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union after more than a year of negotiations.

The union said LU had failed to produce an offer on pay that meets the "very reasonable" demands of the workforce.

Transport for London said it rewarded the hard work of staff and is available to meet to discuss outstanding issues.

The RMT said it was "angry and frustrated" at the delays over negotiations.

Members of train drivers' union ASLEF are also balloting for industrial action "after the failure of management to agree a pay rise that was due in April 2019".

The RMT called on London Mayor Sadiq Khan and his TfL officials to lift a cap on pay and allow a deal to be done.

"Staff are putting in enormous efforts to keep London moving against a backdrop of overcrowding, creaking infrastructure and surging levels of violence and assaults," it said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Transport for London said it rewarded the hard work of staff

General secretary Mick Cash said the city was a "wealthy business centre and those staff who work round the clock to keep the city moving deserve their fair share".

"After over a year of intensive talks aimed at reaching a negotiated settlement on Tube pay, RMT reps are angry and frustrated that London Underground have now stalled that process and failed to come up with an offer that would fully recognise the efforts of their workforce," he said.

"The preparations for the ballot are well under way and we will be campaigning hard for a massive yes vote."

A TfL spokesperson said: "We have offered a four-year pay deal which guarantees above-inflation rises. It reflects and rewards the hard work our staff do on the network every day while remaining affordable in a difficult financial climate.

"We remain available to meet to discuss the outstanding issues and seek to avoid damaging strike action."

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