London Underground workers in pre-Christmas strike

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Workers on one of London Underground’s busiest lines are to go on strike on the weekend before Christmas in a dispute over industrial relations.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union on the Central Line will walk out for six hours from 8pm on December 21 and for 16 hours from 4am on December 22.

The action follows a one-day walkout earlier this month which crippled services.

The union accused LU of “refusing to lift a finger” to resolve a series of issues, claiming not enough drivers are employed, procedures are being abused and a union member has been victimised.

General secretary Mick Cash said: “Our members have shown just how angry they are at the abject failure of management to sort out long-standing problems along the line in the rock-solid action earlier this month and LU have now had plenty of time to resolve the issues but have chosen to bury their heads in the sand.

“Industrial relations along the Central Line have been at breaking point for some time now and the failure of the management to face facts, and a conscious decision to up the ante by attempting to single out and pick off individual members of staff, has tipped the situation over the edge and has led to the announcement of further strike action.

“There is a growing culture on London Underground that revolves around refusing to employ enough drivers, bullying staff and expecting our members to pick up the pieces when the service breaks down.

“Tube bosses are well aware of the level of anger on the job and it’s down to the them to take the situation seriously and engage in genuine talks around reaching a solution to the current disputes.”

Nick Dent, director of line operations for London Underground, said: “The further strike action called by RMT remains totally unjustified.

“They are demanding the reinstatement of a driver who was sacked for failing a drugs test, something for which we have zero tolerance.

“We always strive to run a reliable service but our commitment to the safety of both customers and staff is absolute and something we will never compromise on.

“I urge the unions to call off this entirely unnecessary strike action which will only cause disruption to our customers during the festive period.”

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