Instant Improver

Smallest-ever strike ballot will shut down Tube line for 48 hours

London is set to endure more tube chaos after the smallest-ever strike ballot ended in three people voting for industrial action - which will result in the Waterloo & City line being suspended for two days next week.

According to TfL, of the eight people who work in the Waterloo & City line service control team, six are RMT members. Of these, three voted for a 48-hour strike, which will begin at 9pm on Monday 28 September, following a row over pay and job re-grading issues.

However, the RMT union disputed TfL's version of events, saying that 24 people voted in favour of the action.

Richard Tracey, the London Assembly Tory spokesman for transport, told the Evening Standard: “It is disgraceful that such a tiny number of people should be able to cause huge disruption on a major route into the City. This is exactly the sort of industrial action we have been complaining about.”

Meanwhile, Peter McNaught, LU’s operations director for the Waterloo & City line, said: “We’ve been in extensive discussions with the RMT over this issue during the past year and we’ve presented various options to bring this dispute to an end. Unfortunately all of these options have been rejected outright by the RMT who appear determined to demand more money for not additional work or responsibility."

However, Mick Cash, the RMT chief, said: "LU management must be clear by now on our members' legitimate and reasonable demand for re-grading."

The Waterloo & City line, also known as the drain, carries over 35,000 people a day, consists of two stations, and is just a mile and a half long. Surely everyone can just walk along the tunnel instead?