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London Subway Workers to Strike Day After Christmas in Pay Row

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Dec. 22 (Bloomberg) -- London Underground workers will hold a 24-hour strike the day after Christmas following the collapse of talks aimed at resolving a dispute over pay and working conditions, Transport for London said today.

Representatives for the union Aslef walked out of talks today with London Underground and ACAS, the U.K.’s state-funded mediator, TfL said in an e-mailed statement.

“Nothing changed at this morning’s meeting and therefore the strike will go ahead,” Aslef General Secretary Keith Norman said in a statement on the union’s website.

Aslef, which represents Britain’s train drivers including 2,500 on the subway, are demanding workers get three times a normal day’s wage for working on Boxing Day, the Dec. 26 national holiday, and a day off in lieu. The union said it is “nonsense” that London Underground should consider Boxing Day an ordinary working day.

London Underground is refusing to increase pay because of a “pay and conditions agreement” it reached earlier with unions. An offer to reduce the number of drivers scheduled to work on Boxing Day was rejected by Aslef, TfL said in the statement.

“This strike threat is beyond belief,” London Underground Managing Director Mike Brown said in the statement. “It is obviously not the season of goodwill for the leadership of Aslef.”

Aslef members working for London Underground voted by a majority of nine to one to support the strike and the union expects the disruption to be “extensive and significant,” according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Spillane in London at cspillane3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net.

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