London Tube strike across entire network to go ahead in row over TfL cuts


Tube strike that is expected to close the London Underground on two days next week is on, the RMT union announced on Thursday morning.

It confirmed its 10,000 members would walk on next Tuesday and Thursday in protest at what it regards as a threat to jobs and pensions.

Talks at arbitration service Acas that could have seen the strikes postponed broke down last night, the RMT said.

The strikes are planned to start at a minute past midnight and continue until a minute until midnight on March 1 and 3.

Tube chiefs said they expected “severe disruption across all Tube lines”, with stations closed and little or no service across the network. They advised passengers to work from home if possible on the strike days.

Disruption is likely to have a knock-on impact on Wednesday and Friday, when morning rush hour services are expected to be “severely impacted”.


The protest centres on the decision by Transport for London to axe 500 to 600 Tube station posts to save cash and the review of the generous TfL pension scheme.

TfL says that no worker will lose their job and that the cuts will be made by not filling empty posts and staff who choose to leave or retire.

It says the pensions review, required as a condition of a Government bailout for TfL to keep services running during the pandemic, has not come to any conclusions.

However the RMT believes that the Government is prolonging TfL’s financial crisis – its need for another bailout remains unresolved – is politically motivated and is being used to force through major changes to its workforce.

The RMT said that during the Acas talks “London Underground confirmed all the union’s worst fears that nothing is off the table in terms of the threat to jobs, pensions, conditions and safety”.

In the RMT ballot in December, 94 per cent of members who took part voted to strike or take action short of a strike – 4,900 voting yes and 307 no. Turnout was 51.7 per cent of 10,084 RMT members entitled to vote.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Our members will be taking strike action next week 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. The sheer scale of that threat was confirmed in talks on Wednesday.

“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.”

The action will harm the return to work – Tube passenger numbers reached about 60 per cent of pre-pandemic levels last week, with 2.2m to 2.5m journeys a day.

Andy Lord, TfL’s chief operating officer, said: “It is extremely disappointing that the RMT is planning to go ahead with this action. TfL haven’t proposed any changes to pensions or terms and conditions, and nobody has or will lose their jobs because of the proposals we have set out.

“I hope the RMT will get around the table with us, continue talks and call off this disruptive action, which will cause huge frustration for our customers and further financial damage to TfL and London’s economy when we should be working together to rebuild following the pandemic.

“If the RMT does go ahead with this action, then anyone who needs to travel on March 1 and 3 should check before they make their journey, consider whether they are able to work from home and use alternative modes of transport where possible.

“I understand the frustration this proposed strike action will inevitably cause, and can assure customers that we are doing everything we can to mitigate the impacts. Making journeys will be more difficult if the RMT’s strike goes ahead, so I urge any customers to please be considerate towards each other and TfL staff.”

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