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London Tube Workers Vote to Strike Over Ticket Offices

Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) -- London Underground workers who belong to the Rail, Maritime & Transport union will stage two 48-hour strikes over Mayor Boris Johnson’s plans to close most station ticket offices on the rail network and cut 750 jobs.

The strikes will begin at noon on two successive Tuesdays, Feb. 4 and Feb. 11, RMT said in a statement on its website. The union announced earlier today that 77 percent of members who took part in a ballot voted to strike.

Under Johnson’s plans, which also involve the introduction of 24-hour services on the Underground, ticket offices would be retained only at five central London Tube stations and at Heathrow airport. Less than 3 percent of Tube journeys now involve a visit to a ticket office, according to Transport for London, which runs the Underground.

“The Tube network is under growing pressure from customer demand and needs more staff and not less to ensure safe and efficient operation,” RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said in the statement.

A second Tube union, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, called a strike ballot yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eddie Buckle in London at ebuckle@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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