London Underground Ltd (LUL) station staff and train operators belonging to the RMT and TSSA unions will strike for three days from 6.30pm on Sunday 6 April until the same time on Wednesday 9 April.
Yesterday (27 March) RMT members voted five-to-one in favour of strikes because of safety issues. Ballot figures turned out 1,673 members in favour, with 333 against.
This followed TSSA members voting four-to-one in favour - with a 49% turnout - on the same issues earlier this month, and 7,500 staff belonging to the two will now stage the walk-out in unison.
A raft of issues has riled members: ticket office closures; low staffing levels; ”lone working” and use of lesser-trained agency and security staff, as well as use of ”mobile” supervisors looking after various stations instead of a dedicated one for each.
”Each of these is serious in its own right, but together they amount to a fundamental and unacceptable attack on staffing across the network, putting our members” and passengers” safety at risk,” said RMT general secretary Bob Crow.
”Tube workers will not stand idly by while the security of the network is compromised by managers who clearly believe that staff and passenger safety can be looked after on the cheap.”
TSSA general secretary Gerry Doherty said: ”The last people we want to hit are the travelling public but this seems to be the only way we can make London Underground listen.”
He provided a chink of light for anyone hoping services will not be cancelled when he added, ”Even at this late stage, we want a negotiated settlement and remain ready to talk next week to achieve one.”
London Underground deputy chief operating officer Howard Collins said: ”All of the issues raised by the RMT are already being addressed through the normal negotiating process. Significant progress has already been made and most of the issues have been agreed.
”There is simply no reason for a strike, or even the threat of one, as all of the issues being raised can be resolved.
"A strike by the RMT would lose staff pay and inconvenience the travelling public to no purpose whatsoever. It is entirely unnecessary and we should get on with sorting out these issues through the normal negotiating process.”