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Tube staff could strike in lead-up to Christmas causing travel chaos

PUBLISHED: 12:53 15 November 2016 | UPDATED: 12:53 15 November 2016

File photo dated 29/01/09 of a general view of a sign for the London underground in central London, as hundreds of Tube drivers are to be balloted for strikes, increasing the threat of travel chaos for millions of passengers in the run-up to Christmas.

File photo dated 29/01/09 of a general view of a sign for the London underground in central London, as hundreds of Tube drivers are to be balloted for strikes, increasing the threat of travel chaos for millions of passengers in the run-up to Christmas.

PA Wire/PA Images

Tube staff have voted to go on strike in the lead-up to Christmas with millions of passengers facing potential travel chaos.

RMT (Rail, Maritime and Transport) Union announced that a ballot of members had resulted in “massive votes for action” by Tube station staff and drivers on one line.

The proposed action comes amid a row over staffing, safety and regulations.

The ballots will now be considered by the RMT’s executive.

More than 3,000 RMT station staff members were asked to vote over the impact on safety of the cutting of nearly 900 frontline workers at stations across London, with 85per cent of voters opting for strike action.

Hundreds of Picadilly Line drivers were also balloted in a dispute over alleged breaches of policies, procedures and safety, which the union says has created a “wholesale breakdown in industrial relations”, with 84pc voting for strike action.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT members on the London Underground stations see day in and day out the toxic impact of the job cuts programme and they are reporting back that it is horrific.”

“With the constant overcrowding on stations and platforms it is only a matter of time before there is a major tragedy if we don’t act decisively.

“Our dispute is about taking action to haul back the cuts machine and put safety back at the top of the agenda.

“In the separate dispute involving drivers on the Piccadilly Line, safety is again a major factor and is tied in with the ripping up of policies and procedures and ignoring warnings from staff.

“Our members have been left exposed and vulnerable and we have no choice but to blow the whistle before lasting damage is done.”

“RMT members have now voted overwhelmingly for action in both these disputes and the results will now be considered by the unions executive. The union remains available for talks.”

TfL has been contacted for a comment.

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