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Tube drivers plan strike for Boxing Day over pay dispute

By: Laura Nineham
20 December 2010

There could be a boost in the number of companies hiring drivers for Boxing Day, after it was revealed that Tube drivers plan to strike on one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

As reported by BBC News, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said preventing people from hitting the stores on the first day of the sales would be damaging to the capital's retailers who are in need of a strong start to sales after severe weather and student protests drove spending down.

Tube drivers who are members of the train drivers' union Aslef have planned a 24-hour walkout for Sunday. They believe they should be given three extra days' pay and a day off in lieu for working the day. However, London Underground maintains that the union had previously signed up to an agreement that covered bank holiday payments.

"Everyone involved in the Tube drivers' dispute needs to recognise the importance of London retailing and the damage disruption on this scale will cause," said Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC.

However, Baroness Jo Valentine chief executive of London First, said: "It's not too late to bring seasonal good tidings to London by sorting out this unnecessary dispute."

The strike could see bus companies hiring drivers to help put on more services in an effort to cope with an increased demand, as shoppers look at avoiding the Tube chaos that the strikes will cause.

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