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London’s ‘Boris Bike’ Staff Vote to Strike for 48 Hours Over Pay

Workers operating Serco Group Plc’s “Boris Bike” cycle-rental system in London voted to strike for 48 hours over pay and work conditions, the RMT union said.

RMT members, who make up more than 90 percent of the system’s workforce, will walk out at 9 p.m. local time on Aug. 11, the union said today in an e-mailed statement. It’s disputing a 2 percent pay increase for 2013, changes to shift patterns, alleged bullying and Serco’s refusal to reach a formal agreement on travel time and allowances, the statement showed.

More than 22 million journeys have been made since the bicycle-hire program started in July 2010, according to the website of Transport for London. London Mayor Boris Johnson, after whom the bikes are nicknamed, adopted the project as part of his manifesto to oust predecessor Ken Livingstone, who initiated the program.

“We hope that Boris Johnson and his contractors Serco will now meet with RMT to find a fair solution to this dispute,” Bob Crow, the union’s general secretary, said in the statement.

The cycles can be rented from more than 550 docking stations located across London’s center and east, according to Transport for London. The system, operated by Serco and sponsored by Barclays Plc, is scheduled to expand into southwest London starting in December.

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