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    No tube strikes over Christmas


    by ODN


    Strikes by London Underground workers could be escalated in the New Year, with two or three day walkouts considered, union leaders have warned.

    But officials of the Rail Maritime and Transport union and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association said they would not be recommending any walkouts over the festive season.

    The move appeared to rule out any more strikes before January 10, giving a respite to travellers in London.

    Tube services were disrupted again on Monday by a 24-hour walkout in protest at job losses.

    Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT, told a news conference: "We are moving towards an escalation of the action in the New Year. I don't think it will be appropriate to have action over Christmas."

    Mr Crow said his executive will consider the next move later this week, adding this could lead to two or three day strikes, or action in an entire week by different groups of Tube workers.

    "I will not be recommending any action this side of January 2, but come 2011 we will have to consider escalating strikes to more than one day."

    Mr Crow and TSSA leader Gerry Doherty stepped up its accusations that Transport for London was "misleading" the public over the impact of the latest walkout on services.

    "If you believe what is on the TfL website then you believe in Father Christmas," said Mr Crow.