A BALLOT of 10,000 London Underground staff has opened today, as a pay dispute between their union the RMT and Transport for London remains unresolved.
Talks have been in progress for more than a year without agreement, and the RMT is now warning of possible strikes and other action if its Underground members vote in favour.
The union said it is ‘angry and frustrated’ that there is still no deal. RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: ‘After over a year of intensive talks aimed at reaching a negotiated settlement on tube pay RMT reps are angry and frustrated that London Underground have now stalled that process and failed to come up with an offer that would fully recognise the efforts of their workforce day in and day out.
‘London is a wealthy business centre and those staff who work round the clock to keep the city moving deserve their fair share.
‘The ballot papers go out today and we will be campaigning hard for a massive YES vote. It is not too late for the Mayor, in this election year, to intervene and send his officials back to the table with a decent and responsible offer to settle this dispute. In the meantime RMT remains available for talks.’
Transport for London said: ‘We have offered a four-year pay deal which guarantees above-inflation rises. It reflects and rewards the hard work our staff do on the network every day while remaining affordable in a difficult financial climate. We remain available to meet to discuss the outstanding issues and seek to avoid damaging strike action.’
The ballot will run until 31 March.