August 18, 2008 / 3:43 PM / 10 years ago

200 Tube workers to strike over sackings

LONDON (Reuters) - Almost 200 station workers on the London Underground will strike for 24 hours on Friday over alleged harassment by management and the dismissal of two colleagues, the RMT rail union said on Monday.

A London underground sign is pictured below Big Ben, London in this September 3, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

The staff, a combination of two groups working at stations on the District and Northern Lines, will walk out for 24 hours at 4:30 a.m. on August 22.

The news comes on top of last week’s decision by about 1,000 maintenance workers on the Underground to walk out over pay — with a strike also scheduled for this week.

An RMT spokesman said the strike was still scheduled to go ahead between noon on Wednesday and noon on Saturday — the latter the beginning of a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK.

A second 72-hour strike is scheduled for the period between September 3 and September 6.

A spokeswoman for maintenance worker employer Tubelines confirmed that talks were not currently ongoing, describing its latest pay offer of nearly 5 percent as “very generous”.

The 100 staff at Northern Line stations Charing Cross, Elephant and Castle and Lambeth North are striking for a second time over what they consider the unfair sacking of Jerome Bowes.

“The bottom line in both these disputes is that our members have the right to work in an atmosphere of trust and co-operation and without the fear of being fired without good reason,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said in a statement.

An RMT spokesman said the last time the Northern Line stations went on strike over Bowes London Underground managed to cover the shifts, though the company was not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by John Bowker, editing by Will Waterman

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