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London Underground workers vote to continue strike action

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theguardian.com

London Underground staff in the RMT union have voted to continue with strikes in a dispute over pensions and job cuts.More than 90% of the union’s members on the tube who voted, on a 53% turnout, backed continuing industrial action.The RMT was legally required to obtain support to renew its mandate for strikes, after the latest 24-hour stoppage on Tuesday closed virtually all tube services in the capital.Transport for London (TfL) is seeking to cut just over 10% of frontline staff by not filling vacancies as they arise, as well as reviewing the pension scheme – a condition of the emergency funding agreed with the Department for Transport (DfT) after fare revenue dried up during the pandemic.The DfT this week offered afurther funding extension until 13 July, frustrating TfL and Sadiq Khan’s attempts to agree a long-term deal, with the deadline for financial support otherwise expiring tonight.The RMT general secretary, Mick Lynch, said the vote “proves that the arguments RMT has been making [are] endorsed by tube workers”, adding that “TfL and the mayor of London need to seriously rethink their plans”.He added: “We are acutely aware of the funding cuts being foisted on TfL by the Westminster government.

However, Mayor Sadiq Khan … should not be trying to sacrifice our members’ pensions and jobs to fit within budget restraints laid down by Boris Johnson.”Andy Lord, TfL’s chief operating officer, said: ““There are no proposals to change pensions or terms and conditions, and our proposals will ensure any reduction in roles is achieved through vacancy management, in line with our no compulsory redundancy agreement.

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