Talks between tube operator Metronet and the National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers (RMT) have broken down, and 2000 RMT members will begin a three-day strike from 6pm on Sunday 15 April for three days.
Private consortium Metronet, which runs two-thirds of the Tube network, wants to transfer 250 managerial and technical engineering staff to one of its five parent companies, Bombadier, which will manufacture and maintain the trains. Metronet said the movement of staff will ensure maximum efficiency for the maintenance of those trains.RMT say that staff who move across will not work under the same terms and conditions. 'At the time of transfer they will work under the same terms and conditions, but after the transfer this will change,' said an RMT spokesperson. Metronet deny this is the case.'There is also a safety aspect - this will further fragment the engineering on London Underground,' said the RMT spokesperson. He said that the move reneged on an agreement signed by Metronet a year ago to not move the staff.Mark Cooper, Metronet's senior vice-president for Asset Performance, said it had already reduced the number of staff to move from 700 to 250, 'In recent weeks we have worked hard to reach an agreement with the unions. We remain available for talks at any time. The planned strike action will lead to disruption for the 3M people who use the Tube every day. It is unnecessary and unwarranted.'Talks appeared to be making progress last week when the RMT decided to drop the proposed ban on indefinite overtime. This has now been reinstated. Metronet runs the Bakerloo, Central, Circle, District, East London, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan, Victoria and Waterloo and City lines. Metronet is owned by a consortium of Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Bombadier, EDF and Thames Water.