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Tube staff to strike over pay

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One thousand London Underground maintenance workers are to stage two 72-hour strikes over pay and working conditions while an additional 700 cleaners on the tube are to strike for higher wages.

The maintenance workers employed by Tube Lines are members of the Rail Maritime and Transport workers Union (RMT). They will strike from 20-23 August and again from 3-6 September in protest against a pay rise of 4.95%, which RMT claims is less than staff employed on Metronet contracts are due to receive.

Bob Crow, general secretary of RMT, said: "Tube Lines has made enormous profits on the backs of our members' hard work, yet they seem to expect that staff will accept an inferior deal on pay, pensions and conditions."

A spokesman from Tubelines said: "We believe that a pay offer of 4.95% is very competitive, especially when compared with the UK average rise of 3.7%. We are disappointed the RMT is taking this stance and passengers have every right to feel angry over the proposed action."

Cleaning subcontractors plan to take part in separate industrial action because they are being paid £2 an hour less than the London living wage of £7.45. This is despite promises from London Mayor Boris Johnson that he will provide some tube workers with the London living wage. Their strike will run from 21-23 August.

Crow added: "It is all very well the Mayor talking about the London living wage, but our members can't live on jam tomorrow, they need a living wage, sick pay, pensions and decent holidays now."