London Underground staff could strike again as RMT union re-ballots members
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London Underground staff could strike again as 10,000 union members are being re-balloted from today.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has been in a dispute with Transport for London (TfL) and the mayor of London over jobs and pensions for nearly a year.
It follows TfL plans to cut 600 jobs, and changes which could mean workers lose 30% of their pensions.
The RMT’s current mandate for industrial action runs out in June and, by law, the union would then have to achieve a new mandate from members in order to continue industrial action.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "Our members have taken several days of strike action over this last year and remain as determined as ever to get a just settlement on jobs, pensions and their working conditions.
"The mayor is under pressure from the central government, but he must join us in resisting them and refuse to allow ideologically motivated financial constraints to be used as an excuse to attack tube workers.
"TfL has healthy revenue streams and our members are among the thousands of tube staff that make it a successful transport provider.
"This re-ballot is vital to maintain the pressure on TfL and I urge all our members to vote yes in the postal ballot."
The ballot will run from April 25 to May 23.
Glynn Barton, Transport for London’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We have been notified that the RMT union will be re-balloting their members over the renewal of their mandate for industrial action over jobs, pensions and conditions.
“This is despite the fact that no proposals have been tabled on pensions following a Government mandated review into the TfL pension scheme.
“If any proposal is made in the future, this would require appropriate consultation and extensive further work.
“We urge the RMT to work with us constructively and not threaten London with further industrial action.”
A spokesperson for the mayor of London said: “As a result of the pandemic TfL required emergency Government funding, which came with onerous conditions.
“Both TfL and the mayor negotiated hard and stood up for London to avoid massive cuts to London’s tubes and buses.
“However, as part of this agreement, the government required that TfL propose options for reform of its pension scheme at pace.
“The mayor has been clear that punishing Londoners and our dedicated and brilliant transport workers is wrong.
“This is not something Sadiq wanted in the deal and he will not support any unfair changes to pensions that attack the terms and conditions of transport workers.
“At this stage, no decisions have been made and any reform would be subject to extensive consultation with all stakeholders, including TfL staff and trade unions.”