London Underground union plans overtime ban

Rail union leaders are to stage an overtime ban on London Underground over the Christmas period, reports have suggested

Around 500 engineering and electrical workers voted to take action short of a strike, following a dispute over pay and the rejection by Unite union members of a two-year pay deal.

Workers were balloted in response to London Underground’s "final" two-year offer, which was a 1.5 per cent pay rise this year followed by an inflation-plus-0.5 per cent rise in 2010-11.

Unite members voted against a full strike, opting instead for an overtime ban. The ban and a work-to-rule policy will begin from the 7th December.

"Our members have decided they don’t want to take strike action but want to make their point with other forms of action,” said John Morgan-Evans, regional officer for Unite. “We need to see some genuine negotiation and agreement on pay, terms and conditions issues which our members have identified as important."

London Underground called on Unite to continue discussions with the company.

Richard Parry, managing director of London Underground, described turnout for the ballot as low. He said: “There is absolutely nothing to be gained from taking more strike action in the current tough economic climate, at a time when many Londoners have seen their pay frozen or have lost their jobs this year. Our pay deal offers stability and security, and we urge all of our unions to recommend this final offer to their members and urge all Tube staff to accept it.”