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Underground staff to be balloted in jobs dispute

THE RMT has announced a ballot for industrial action by London Underground staff in protest at changes which the union claims amount to ‘attacks on jobs, staffing levels, pay and working conditions as part of a concerted assault on the workforce’.

A London Underground process aimed at reducing costs, known as ‘Transformation’, is the cause of the underlying dispute.

The RMT said there had been recent job losses in the departments of Track Access Control, Power Control, Service Control, LUCC, Skills Development, Waste, Pumps, Stations, Buildings & Civils and Signals Incidents, and it is vowing to ‘wholly oppose’ the process.

The union has written to LUL demanding that ‘the negotiated Main Framework Agreement is adhered to’. This says that ’any changes in relation to staffing levels will only be carried out following full consultation and negotiation with the trades unions’, and the RMT is alleging that this agreement has been ‘flouted’.

The RMT added that its Reps have been advised not to attend or take part in any briefings or discussions about the dispute until further notice, and that preparations for a ballot are now underway.

General secretary Mick Cash said: ‘RMT has made it crystal clear that we will fight any attempts to rip up agreements as part of a process designed to ram through cash-led cuts that would decimate the workforce and open the door to an assault on job security, pay and working conditions that our members have had to fight long and hard to achieve

‘We are now in dispute with London Underground on a number of fronts and are mobilising an industrial and political response that will turn the tide.’

Transport for London said operating costs had to be reduced over the next three years, and that it would consult with staff and trade unions before carrying out any changes, although the safety of passengers and staff would not be compromised.

A spokesman said: ‘We remain available for discussions with the RMT.’

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