9 March 2016
RMT Press Office:
RMT confirms strike dates after overwhelming vote on Piccadilly Line over comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations.
Tube union RMT today confirmed strike action by nearly 400 train operators across the Piccadilly Line over a comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations combining a range of issues.
RMT has instructed all Train Operators and Instructor Operators to take strike action as follows:-
1. Not to book on for shifts after 21:00 hours Wednesday 23rd March 2016 until 20:59 hours Thursday 24th March 2016.
2. Not to book on for shifts after 12:00 hours on Tuesday 19th April 2016 until 11:59 hours Wednesday 20th April 2016 and again after 12:00 hours on Thursday 21st April 2016 until 11:59 hours on Friday 22nd April 2016.
The union remains available for talks but if no progress is made, further action will be called beyond those dates in due course.
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 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 has now left RMT with no option but to call strike action following the overwhelming vote of by our members.
“The union remains available for talks.”