London Underground cleaners are protesting the introduction of fingerprint recognition machines.
A new fingerprint-based clocking-in system for the London Underground staff has been met with retaliation by members of the RMT union who said the technology infringed their rights.
In a ballot by the union, 98% of workers said they plan to refuse to cooperate with the new system. The cleaners will instead continue to sign in manually and by phone.
"We believe this technology infringes on staff civil liberties and the overwhelming vote in favour of action shows our members’ strength of feeling on this issue," said Bob Crow, RMT’s general secretary.
But Adam Wurf, communications director for ISS UK, the company that employs the cleaning staff, told the BBC: "With this technology we will be able to guarantee that the member of staff is who they say they are.
"We don’t think this is draconian or an infringement of civil liberties; it’s about making sure we have the right people – verified and trained – in the right place at the right time."
The news comes as biometrics has been making the headlines elsewhere, thanks to the release of the new iPhone 5S, which includes a fingerprint recognition button to enable access to data on the handset.