23 March 2016
RMT Press Office:
Management refuse to address serious issues at heart of dispute and strike goes ahead tonight on Piccadilly Line.
Tube union RMT today confirmed that there have been no further talks and 24 hours of strike action goes ahead from nine o’clock tonight by nearly 400 train operators across the Piccadilly Line over a comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations combining a range of issues. No services will be running.
85% voted for strike action with an even larger number voting for action short of a strike.
The Piccadilly is the fourth busiest line on the London Underground network transporting an average of 600,000 passengers a day and services London’s Heathrow airport – the busiest airport in Europe.
The ballot for action was called after a prolonged period of industrial problems on the line – some of which have been directly related to serious underlying issues with the aging Piccadilly Line fleet. Those issues have left drivers in a vulnerable position and have been used by management as a tool to harass and threaten members through misuse of the disciplinary procedure. There has also been an appalling lack of consistency by local management when it comes to addressing the long-running issues impacting on the Piccadilly Line and which RMT, as the main driver’s union, has raised repeatedly over a number of years.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
"The hostile and aggressive attitude by tube bosses has collapsed the normal negotiating process and as a result they are wholly to blame for the fact that the strike action goes ahead for 24 hours from tonight exactly as planned.
“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 and which left RMT with no option but to call strike action following the overwhelming vote of by our members.
“The union remains available for meaningful and genuine talks and it is shocking that the management side have chosen to walk away and refuse to address the serious issues at the heart of this dispute.”