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London Underground Workers Can Strike Over Pay, Judge Says

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London underground workers can strike over pay, says judge
About 1,000 London underground workers are scheduled to stage two 48-hour stoppages today and again on July 14. Photographer: Suzanne Plunkett/Bloomberg

June 23 (Bloomberg) -- London Underground maintenance workers can go on strike today after a U.K. judge refused to block the walkout.

Judge Michael Tugendhat declined to grant an injunction sought by Tube Lines Ltd. to halt the strike, which is scheduled to start today at 7 p.m. in London. Tugendhat didn’t give his reasoning for the decision.

About 1,000 workers are scheduled to stage two 48-hour stoppages today and again on July 14. The Piccadilly, Northern and Jubilee Lines will be the worst-affected.

Charles Bear, the lawyer for Tube Lines Ltd., argued that the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers supplied the company incorrect data on the number of workers in various positions that would participate in the strike.

The union ‘is trying to bring the London Underground system to a halt as much as possible,” Bear said. “There is an obvious discrepancy” in the data.

A new pay offer from Tube Lines, which maintains and upgrades three London routes, will be considered by union representatives today, the RMT said before the ruling.

London Underground said in a statement on its website before the court ruling that it planned to “operate a full service to customers across the whole network, including on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines,” throughout the strike.

“Safety is London Underground’s top priority and we would never run trains if it was not safe to do so,” a spokesperson, who wasn’t identified, said on the site.

To contact the reporter for this story: Lindsay Fortado in London at lfortado@bloomberg.net.

To contact the reporter on this story: Colm Heatley in Belfast at cheatley@bloomberg.net

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