May 19 2013 Latest news:
Dominic Gover, Senior Reporter
Monday, April 23, 2012
‘Mind the Gap’ reads the warning on the Tube, but the yawning chasm between London Underground bosses and the RMT union strikes could plunge into chaos thousands of journeys, from tomorrow.
The two sides remain at loggerheads in a pensions and benefits dispute.
But no 11th hours talks were scheduled to take place this afternoon (Monday) to solve the dispute and avert strike action.
As a result, it looks certain that maintenance staff on the Piccadilly, Northern and Jubilee will walk out from 4pm tomorrow (Tuesday), until the same time on Friday.
The strikers work for Tube Lines, which is a fully-owned subsidiary of Transport for London (TfL). They want revised contracts to gain pensions and benefits in line with those enjoyed by colleagues employed by London Underground.
Tube bosses are hopeful that disruption suffered by commuters will be minimal, London24.com was told.
Disruption to journeys is a risk admitted a spokeswoman for TfL, which has drafted in workers in a bid to minimise disruption by filling the gap
“We have well practised contingency plans in place to ensure that the essential maintenance required on the railway can either go ahead as planned or can be rearranged. We do not and will not put passenger or staff safety at risk.”
A spokesman for the Rail, Maritime and Transport union claimed no constructive bid to resolve the dispute had been tabled by Transport for London (TfL).
“We are more than prepared to talk, but what we went through last time was farcical because they said absolutely nothing new,” said a spokesman.
The prospect of industrial action by some Tube staff has drawn an angry response from some readers on London24.com.
Richard Pender wrote via Facebook: “If they don’t like their job or the benefits they get or don’t get , then leave and get another job - there are 1000’s of people who would gladly take there places.
“Why must they strike and punish those who pay their wages? If I have a problem with my boss, I don’t then punish the people who pay my wages but sort it out with my boss, or is it just me?