Tube workers set to strike on Tuesday

Passengers try to get on board a crowded tube train.
The strike will begin at 4pm on Tuesday. Photo: ITV News

Union bosses have forecast "widespread" disruption, as tube workers stage a 72 hour walk-out next week.

Staff who maintain and upgrade tube lines will go on strike from 4pm on Tuesday until the same time on Friday in a row over pensions and benefits.

The dispute involves workers on the Picadilly, Northern and Jubilee lines but the Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) says the strike will have a "widespread" impact on services across the network.

Members of the RMT union voted in favour of industrial action by four to one, over demands for all Tube Lines staff to be allowed to join the Transport for London pension scheme and receive the same travel concessions as those who work for London Underground.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "RMT members have delivered a massive mandate for action following a straightforward demand for parity with other Tube staff.

"This dispute is about justice and about ensuring that all groups of staff under the umbrella of London Underground receive the same rights and benefits, and our members have no choice but to strike to secure those basic rights.

"We have gone through all the negotiating channels but Tube Lines has refused to budge and have refused to engage in meaningful talks and that pig-headed approach has raised the temperature on the shop floor and has resulted in this strike action being called.

"The union remains ready to talk, and the strong mandate for this industrial action shows Tube Lines and TfL the depth of anger there is over this blatant lack of fairness and justice."

Tube Lines operations director Lee Jones said: "A strike on this issue is completely unnecessary and will not achieve anything.

"We urge the RMT leadership to end their strike threat and return to talks, as it will only be resolved through constructive discussion.

"The RMT's ballot showed that less than 44% of its members voted in favour of strike action. Any action would be by maintenance staff, not Tube drivers and station staff.

"Should a strike go ahead, we have plans in place which will enable London Underground to operate Tube services on all three lines and to minimise any disruption."