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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

London Tube strike: new union action to shut down entire Underground in blow to return to office in capital

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wo full days of Tube strikes were announced on Friday in a huge blow to efforts to get Londoners back to the office.

The RMT has ordered all 10,000 members not to turn up for work on Tuesday March 1 and Thursday March 3, which is expected to force the closure of the entire Underground network.

The dispute is over Transport for London’s plans to axe between 500 and 600 station posts in a bid to save cash, and fears among union members that their pensions could be at risk.

There is the possibility that other unions, including those which represent the majority of Tube drivers, could join the RMT as concern about the threat to pensions is widespread across the Underground’s workforce.

The walkouts will start a minute after midnight and run until a minute to midnight on both of the days.

The announcement will infuriate Mayor Sadiq Khan at a time Tube passenger numbers – and TfL’s fares income – have recovered more slowly than hoped due to Omicron and the work from home advice for a month over Christmas.

Jeremy Selwyn

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Our members will be taking strike action next month because a financial crisis at London Underground has been deliberately engineered by the Government to drive a cuts’ agenda which would savage jobs, services, safety and threaten their working conditions and‎ pensions.

“These are the very same transport staff praised as heroes for carrying London through covid for nearly two years, often at serious personal risk, who now have no option but to strike to defend their livelihoods.

“The politicians need to wake up to the fact that transport staff will not pay the price for this cynically engineered crisis. In addition to the strike action RMT is coordinating a campaign of resistance with colleagues from other unions impacted by this threat.

“The union remains available for talks aimed at resolving the dispute.”

Andy Lord, TfL’s chief operating officer, said: “It is extremely disappointing that the RMT has today announced strike action, as no proposals have been tabled on pensions or terms and conditions, and nobody has or will lose their jobs as a result of the proposals we have set out.

REUTERS

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