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Tube drivers set for new strike over ‘displacement’ of staff

PUBLISHED: 14:01 15 February 2017 | UPDATED: 14:11 15 February 2017

Platform of the London Underground

Platform of the London Underground

Tommaso Tagliaferri

Drivers went on strike last month in the same dispute

London Underground drivers are to stage a fresh strike in a dispute over “displacement” of staff.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union on parts of the Tube’s Central line will walk out for 15 hours from 9pm on February 21.

The drivers went on strike last month in the same dispute, disrupting services on the Central and Waterloo and City lines.

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: “RMT negotiators have made strenuous efforts through the Acas machinery to resolve this dispute but the door has been slammed in our faces.

“To up the ante, LU have now written to us confirming that they will be bulldozing through the displacements regardless.

“Let us be in no doubt, if LU are allowed to get away with this move on the Central line they will start shunting drivers around at the drop of a hat regardless of the consequences.

“Our members will be sent out from pillar to post to plug gaps that are solely down to staffing shortages. With massive budget cuts in the pipeline at LU this is a straw in the wind as to how the company expects to operate in the future.

“Staff across London Underground are angry and the company would be wise to recognise that.”

LU said before last month’s strike: “This dispute concerns the need to move eight train operators in three depots on the Central line.

“These drivers need to move to other depots where they are needed so that we can provide the best possible train service to our customers.”

Steve Griffiths, London Underground’s chief operating officer, said: “This threat of strike action is completely unnecessary.

“Like any responsible transport authority we regularly examine how we can provide the best possible service to customers, and to achieve this sometimes we need to move staff from locations where they are under-utilised, to the places where they are really needed. We have agreements with the trade unions that enable us to do this.

“We have identified eight drivers for whom there is not enough work on the Central line, so we have asked them to move to another line where they would make a real difference to the service our customers receive.”

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