London Underground workers go on strike in response to job loss concerns

Posted: 6 June 2022 | | No comments yet

As part of a dispute over pensions, jobs and conditions, London Underground workers have gone on strike under the RMT Union, with services set to be impacted from the beginning of service on 6 June 2022.

TfL advises Tube strike

Credit: Transport for London

Transport for London (TfL) has advised customers to avoid travelling on 6 June 2022, unless necessary, due to strike action being taken across London Underground (Tube) stations by the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) Union.

Andy Lord, Transport for London’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “While our focus is always on helping everyone travel around London whenever they want, the expected impact of the RMT’s action means that we have to advise people to only travel [on 6 June 2022] if necessary, as many stations may be closed. Alternatives to the Tube, including the bus and rail networks, are likely to be much busier than usual, and we expect the disruption caused by this strike to continue into the morning of 7 June [2022].”

This strike comes as part of a dispute over pensions, jobs and conditions, following the proposals that TfL has set out on jobs. TfL and the RMT union met at the conciliation service ACAS at the end of May 2022; however, no resolution was reached.

As part of previous funding agreements, the UK government has required TfL to work towards achieving financial sustainability on its operations by April 2023. This means that TfL must speed up its pre-pandemic savings programme. Therefore, TfL has been engaging with its trade unions and staff to seek their views on how it can make London Underground more efficient and financially sustainable, while continuing to deliver the highest standards of safety, reliability and customer service. 

TfL has proposed not recruiting into around 500 to 600 posts as they become vacant – including 250 currently unfilled Tube station posts. London Underground stations will remain staffed at all times while trains are operating, with more than 4,500 station staff available across the network to assist customers and keep them safe, supplemented by enforcement teams and police. This will bring staffing levels in line with customer need while protecting as many jobs as possible. 

The RMT union will also continue to take action short of a strike, meaning that station staff may not work overtime, until 10 July 2022, which may impact some journeys on the Tube. This may result in short notice station closures, and customers are advised to check their journeys before they travel. 

RMT Union’s General Secretary, Mick Lynch, said: “Station staff play a crucial role in serving the travelling public and were heroes during the 7/7 terrorist attacks. Instead of seeking to cut jobs, TfL and Mayor Sadiq Khan need to put further pressure on the government to secure increased funding for the network so that we can have a properly staffed, modern 21st century Tube.”

TfL proposes reduction of bus network to meet government requirements

While some train services will run, TfL expects disruption across the network from the start of service on 6 June to 08:00 on 7 June 2022, with many stations – especially those in central and south London – closed. Those stations that can be opened may only open for limited periods, and the situation is likely to change throughout the day, depending on whether TfL has enough staff to safely keep stations open.    

If customers cannot avoid travelling, they have been advised to complete journeys by 18:00. On 7 June 2022, some stations may still be closed at the beginning of the day, so customers are advised to travel after 08:00. 

London’s high-frequency bus services will continue to run throughout the planned industrial action. The newly opened Elizabeth line will run from 07:00, although some stations may be served earlier, until 23:00. Customers are advised to check before they travel. Other TfL services – including the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), London Overground and Trams – are not affected by the strike and will be running, but will be busier than normal.

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