Chaos in London: Met police staff to join Tube union on strike next week

The capital looks set to experience days of chaos next week, after thousands of Metropolitan police civilian staff announced a two-day strike to coincide with industrial action by Tube workers.

The strike, on February 12th and 13th, comes over the imposition of pay cuts.

"It ought to bring shame on the Met police that staff who help to keep London safe are being driven into the arms of loan sharks because of low pay," PCS union general secretary Mark Serwotka said.

"The Met police is not short of money and does not have to ape the government's politically motivated pay policies that have fuelled the longest decline in wages on record."

Up to 7,500 staff could go on strike, including 999 call handlers, support officers and custody suite staff.

The Met is not bound by the government's one per cent public sector pay cap, but it has fallen in line with the level of pay increase despite it being in breach of existing agreements.

Union officials are outraged that the Met pressed ahead with the pay decision without going into negotiations with it.

They say some of their members are being forced to turn to payday lenders to get by, despite the potential threat of disciplinary action.

Staff are also concerned about plans to privatise the work of the 4,000 employees.

Met support staff are not barred from industrial action in the same way as police officers.