Strike action has ground London to a halt today, as RMT union members walk out in another row over in a row over pension changes and job cuts.
Eight tube lines were suspended, with the remainder operating on a severely reduced service, causing travel headaches for Londoners on Thursday, 10 November.
At 12.30pm, the service stood as:
- Bakerloo – Suspended
- Central – Central Line: Service is operating between Hainault – Woodford, Hainault – Liverpool Street, Epping – Leytonstone, White City – Ealing Broadway and between North Acton – West Ruislip at a reduced frequency. No service on the rest of the line.
- Circle – Suspended
- District – District Line: Service operating between Dagenham East and West Ham at a reduced frequency. NO SERVICE on the rest of the line.
- Hammersmith and City – Suspended
- Jubilee – Suspended
- London overground – No service between Gospel Oak and Upper Holloway Road while we fix a signal failure at Gospel Oak. No service between Liverpool Street and Cheshunt / Chingford / Enfield Town all day due to strike action. Trains will not stop at Canada Water. Please check before you travel. GOOD SERVICE on other London Overground routes.
- Metropolitan – Suspended
- Northern – Northern Line: A reduced service is operating between High Barnet and East Finchley, between Finchley Central and Mill Hill East, and between Edgware and Golders Green. NO SERVICE on the rest of the line due to strike action.
- Piccadilly – Suspended
- Victoria – Suspended
- Waterloo and city – Suspended
- Elizabeth line – Good service
- DLR – Good service
- Tram – Good service
It is expected that disruption from the Thursday’s action will continue to have an impact on Friday morning, with services expected to return to normal by mid-morning.
What has caused the uproar?
Cost-cutting measures on the network, in a pinch felt by everyone across the industry, have not gone down well with the unions.
As part of previous funding agreements, the Government has required TfL to work towards achieving financial sustainability on its operations by April 2023, leaving TfL looking to speed up its savings programme.
With this in mind, 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. One of the proposals has been not recruiting up to 600 jobs as they become vacant, including 250 currently unfilled station posts. Another is a move towards shift pattern changes, and pension amendments.
Glynn Barton, TfL’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “The RMT’s disruptive action on London Underground comes as part of a dispute over pensions, jobs and conditions. No proposals have been tabled on pensions or terms and conditions, and nobody has or will lose their jobs because of the proposals TfL has set out.
“TfL’s recent funding agreement with Government required it to develop options around pensions and if any change has to be progressed then this would require appropriate consultation and further work before any decisions can be made.”
TfL stress that stations will remain staffed at all times while trains are operating, with more than 4,500 staff available to assist customers, further supported by enforcement teams and police, maintaining that customer and staff safety remains paramount to the organisation.
The union view
The RMT has proposed that TfL bosses suspend the implementation of 600 station job cuts until the end of this year and made a clear statement that LUL would ‘not agree to detrimental attacks on tube workers’ pensions arising out the current pension review that they are conducting with the government’.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “TfL have missed a golden opportunity to make progress in these negotiations and avoid strike action on Thursday.
“Our members are resolute in their determination to see a just settlement to this jobs and pensions dispute.
“And they will continue their industrial campaign for as long as it takes.
“TfL need to start making compromises and work with the union to reach a deal that works for staff and avoids further disruption to the lives of passengers.”