London transport strikes escalate

1,100 TfL and Tube Unite members join August strike as pay freeze last year and 3% offer this year provokes action

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More than 1,000 TfL and London Underground (LU) workers will take strike action to defend pay, pensions and jobs on Friday 19 August.

The workers, members of Unite, will go on strike at the same time as their colleagues in other unions employed on the underground and overground. More than 1,600 Unite members employed by the London United bus company will also stage pay strikes over the same period.

Unite’s TfL and LU members are striking over a lack of a pay rise for 2021, a three per cent offer for 2022, cuts to their pensions and a lack of guarantees over job security.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Our members worked through the pandemic, putting themselves and their families at risk to keep London running. Now they are being told they must pay for Covid with cuts to their pay and pensions and threats to their jobs. These attacks to their livelihoods must be taken off the table and a proper pay rise put forward or the strikes will escalate.”

Central government is demanding the value of TfL and London Underground workers’ pensions are slashed and their final salary pension scheme is shut.

Unite regional officer Simon McCartney added, “This attack on our members’ retirement funds will not be accepted. These plans must be scrapped. Guarantees on jobs must also be given combined with a decent pay rise. TfL’s refusal to engage in meaningful talks has only strengthened our members’ resolve.”

The strike action involves over 1,100 members of Unite who are employed at London Underground, Croydon Tramlink, Victoria coach station, Dial-a-Ride and river services. TfL’s surface operations, the network management control centre and the compliance, policing, operations and security directorate will also be impacted by the strikes.

By Ryan Fletcher

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