London Underground station staff will stage a 24-hour strike on Monday 6 June, the day after the platinum jubilee holiday weekend, in a dispute over job cuts.
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) has called 4,000 members out on strike in protest at Transport for London’s plans to cut 600 posts to reduce costs.
The walkout follows two strikes in a week in early March, and is likely to reduce tube services and close stations in central London.
The union has also announced an overtime ban from 3 June, which could affect the underground during the jubilee celebrations.
TfL has argued it needs to urgently instigate changes to reduce running costs, with revenues still down significantly since the coronavirus pandemic, and London still reliant on additional emergency Treasury funding to balance the books.
Andy Lord, the TfL chief operating officer, said the action was unnecessary and designed to disrupt the jubilee weekend. He added: “It is particularly surprising that the RMT has threatened to spoil this moment when the nation is coming together as nobody has or will lose their jobs as a result of the proposals we have set out and there have been no proposals on pension changes.
“If the RMT chooses to go ahead with this unnecessary action, we will do everything we can to minimise any disruption and ensure everyone can still make the most of the capital throughout the jubilee weekend.”
Lord said no one would lose their jobs under TfL plans, which would reduce staff numbers by not refilling posts when people move jobs or retire. TfL has been obliged to seek savings, as well as conduct a review by pensions, under the conditions of its emergency funding agreements with the government.
However, the RMT general secretary, Mick Lynch, said: “TfL is trying to bulldoze through 600 job losses on London Underground and our members are not prepared to accept that.
The news of a further tube strike comes as the RMT was threatening a national rail strike. The results of ballots across Network Rail and 15 train operating companies are due this week, and walkouts could follow in late June.
The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, has suggested the government could try to enforce minimum service levels in the event of industrial action, which unions denounced as a threat to the right to strike.
Source: The Guardian