Tube union RMT confirmed on Wednesday (February 17) that it will ballot its 400 train operators on the Piccadilly Line over potential strike action .
The union claims that the ballot is over a “comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations”.
The Piccadilly Line is the fourth-busiest line on the London Underground network, transporting an average of 600,000 passengers a day, including services to Heathrow Airport .
RMT claims the strike is due to industrial problems on the line, including the trains which are described as “ageing”.
The union says that drivers have been left in a vulnerable position as a result.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “The wholesale abuse of procedures and agreements by management on the Piccadilly Line is rife and amounts to the development of a campaign of bullying, harassment and intimidation that the union will not allow to continue.
“RMT will not sit back and allow individual members to be picked off by a vindictive and aggressive management who are continuing to drag their heels over addressing fundamental safety issues which leave staff in a vulnerable and exposed position.
“RMT will not watch from the side lines while our members are boxed into a position where they are left to take the rap for repeated management failures that the union has been raising for years now.
“The combined weight of these abuses and failures has built up to a comprehensive and fundamental collapse in industrial relations that the company have done nothing to address leaving RMT with no option but to ballot for both strike action and action short of a strike.”
Union members will be balloted from Monday (February 2) to Tuesday (March 8).
'Unnecessary strike action'
London Underground bosses have urged RMT to meet with them in an effort to stop the "pointless strike threat".
Pat Hansberry, operations director, London Underground , said: “The RMT is once again balloting for unnecessary strike action without seeking to resolve these local issues with us.
“We urge the RMT to meet with us for talks so that we can avoid subjecting Londoners to another pointless strike threat.”
Maintenance staff on the Tube network recently called off their 24-hour industrial walkout which was due to take place last week.
On Friday (February 5) RMT announced a series of seven Tube strikes detailing industrial action up to June this year.
The updated Tube strike timetable is listed below.
- 6.30am Friday (February 12) to 6.29am on Saturday (February 13) - Called off
- 6.30am to 6.29pm on Sunday (March 6)
- 6.30am Friday (March 25) to 6.29am Saturday (March 26)
- 6.30am Sunday (March 27) to 6.29am Monday (March 28)
- 6.30am to 6.29pm on Sunday (April 24)
- 6.30am to 6.29pm on Sunday (May 15)
- 6.30am to 6.29pm on Sunday (June 12)