London could face summer of strikes as Mick Lynch’s RMT re-ballots 10,000 underground staff

The leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union has warned that strikes set to cripple Britain’s railways could last for a “very, very long time”.

10,000 RMT members are set to be re-balloted for strike action today, in a continuing row over jobs and pensions which looks set to pile more misery on London commuters.

The RMT, Transport for London and Sadiq Khan have been in a fierce dispute over the past year, after plans were announced to cut 600 stations jobs.

Further job cuts across train operations and maintenance are also expected.

The ballot will run from 25 April to 23 May, with the current mandate ending in June.

The RMT are arguing that the plans could result in tube workers losing a portion of their pension. The are requesting £1 billion be cut from TfL operating budget.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Our members have taken several days of strike action over this last year and remain as determined as ever to get a just settlement on jobs, pensions and their working conditions.

“The Mayor is under pressure from central government, but he must join us in resisting them and refuse to allow ideologically motivated financial constraints to be used as an excuse to attack tube workers.”

“TfL has healthy revenue streams and our members are among the thousands of tube staff that make it a successful transport provider.

“This re-ballot is vital to maintain the pressure on TfL and I urge all our members to vote yes in the postal ballot.”

London’s hospitality sector previously welcomed RMT trade union members’ vote to accept a pay offer from Network Rail.

The body has previously said the strikes and disruptions in the last year has cost restaurant and pub business up to £3bn.