Industrial action on public transport looks set to continue for months
The RMT membership voted overwhelmingly for continued strike action
A series of strikes across public transport in London looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.
Unions representing workers on the bus, tube and train networks are all planning industrial action.
This week, the RMT union have confirmed that a reballoting of its members has supported continuing strike action on trains for up to six months. No dates have yet to be announced but it is widely anticipated industrial action will be taking place before the end of the year including perhaps during November.
The union says that there was 91% support for strikes with 70.2% of the 40,000 members balloted in favour. This meant that the proportion voting for a strike comfortably exceeded 40% of those eligible to vote which is required by the government for the strike to be legal.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said that it was a massive endorsement of the union’s strategy.
He added, “The National Executive Committee will now look at these fantastic results and negotiations will continue with Network Rail and the train operating companies.
“This union is determined to continue with this campaign until the employers understand that they need to respond to our members' aspirations on job security, pay and working conditions."
Steve Montgomery, the chair of the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train firms, asked the RMT, "to continue to work with us to agree the vital reforms necessary to both afford a fair pay deal, and secure a sustainable future for the railway which is currently taking more than its fair share from the taxpayer.
"Further counterproductive strike action would only heap more misery on our customers and struggling businesses in the run up to Christmas, and continue to undermine the viability of an industry we all want to see thrive.”
Strikes by the RMT planned for earlier in the month were called off at the last minute on the basis of talks over pay and planned job cuts for maintenance workers continuing, however no agreement has been reached. Network Rail has also offered to extend the period of no compulsory job losses until early 2025.
Tim Shoveller, Network Rail's chief negotiator, said "What's clear for all of us is that striking is not changing the railway's precarious financial position, but actually only making it worse. The railway has not recovered from the pandemic and is currently losing millions a day, which makes reaching a deal both tough and essential."
Network Rail employees are set to strike on Saturday 19 and Monday 21 November. Most TfL services, including the Tube, will continue to run. However, there will be some disruption to the Elizabeth line.
Station staff on the tube network are taking action on Friday 25 November. If it goes ahead, the stations may open later and close earlier or at short notice. Tube trains will run as normal.
Strikes will recommence on Saturday 26 November with 9,500 drivers represented by ASLEF taking action. This will hit 12 train operating companies including London Overground and Great Western but drivers at South Western Railway are not participating. Tube services are expected to run as normal.
ASLEF, which wants wages to keep pace with the rising cost of living, said talks with rail firms broke down after no pay offer was made. Mick Whelan, the general secretary of the union said that with inflation - the rate at which prices rise - at 10.1%, drivers were getting a pay cut in real terms. In 2021, the median salary for train and tram drivers was £59,189 per year.
There are strikes planned on Abellio bus services. Routes affected are mostly in west and south London.
If the strikes go ahead, they will take place on these dates:
Tuesday 22 November
Friday 25 & Saturday 26 November
Thursday 1, Friday 2 and Saturday 3 December
Friday 9 and Saturday10 December
Friday 16 and Saturday 17 December
On the days after strikes, TfL says a good service will be running by approximately 6am
These routes will be affected:
3, 27, 45, 63, 68, 109, 130, 156, 195, 196, 201, 207, 267, 270, 278, 315, 322, 350, 367, 381, 407, 415, 427, 433, 464, 482, 490, 969, C10, E5, E7, E10, E11, H20, H25, H28, H26, P5, P13, R68, R70, S4, U5, U7, U9
24, 111, 159, 285, 344, 345
N3, N27, N63, N68, N109, N207, N381
Passengers are advised to check before travelling what services are running.
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November 17, 2022