In a move that may knock back the introduction of the Night Tube in the capital, London Underground maintenance workers are to be balloted to strike.
Despite RMT union members overwhelmingly voting in favour of the new pay and conditions deal put forward for the 24-hour service, RMT Tube Lines staff will be asked whether or not to strike after bosses said maintenance workers were not being offered the same deal.
In a letter to members on Wednesday (March 2), general secretary at RMT, Mick Cash, said that there is a dispute over pensions, pay and staffing agreements.
Mick Cash said: “RMT members are furious at the cynical way that Tube Lines have attempted to tie in attacks on pensions with the offer on Pay and Night Tube and our reps for this group of over a thousand safety-critical staff have unanimously thrown the whole package out.
“That position has now been fully endorsed by the union’s executive and we are preparing a fresh ballot for both strike action and action short of a strike.
“There are also major unresolved issues over the Tube Lines staffing arrangements for the Night Tube.”
'Fair and affordable offer'
Transport for London are said to be 'disappointed' by the strike ballot announcement, as it looked like issues between London Underground management and unions with the Night Tube were set to be resolved.
Steve Griffiths, London Underground’s chief operating officer, said: “We are disappointed that RMT Tube Lines has rejected this fair and affordable pay offer.
“We made a full and final offer on Pay and Night Tube to all four trade unions on January 21, and the majority of RMT members have already voted to accept this offer.”
The pay offer includes a four-year pay rise and a £500 bonus to drivers and other staff.
Talks are due to start next week between London Underground bosses and RMT to discuss the working arrangements concerns.