Thousands of London Underground station staff are set to strike on 6 June over plans to cut 600 jobs.
According to the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), Transport for London (TfL) is planning to “bulldoze” through hundreds of Tube station jobs in order to reduce costs, as well as scrap its final salary pension scheme. Both claims have been denied by TfL.
The union has called a 24-hour Tube strike that will begin on 6 June, when many people will be returning to work after the platinum jubilee bank holiday weekend. It has also announced a ban on staff carrying out overtime from 3 June.
The walkout follows two strikes in a week in early March, and is likely to reduce services and close Tube stations in central London.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch, who this week expressed discontent over government plans to force a minimum number of services to run during transport strikes, 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 we can have a properly staffed modern 21st century Tube.”
TfL chief operating officer Andy Lord said the Tube strike on 6 June was unnecessary and had been designed to disrupt the jubilee weekend.
“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,” he said.
“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 that the pandemic had a “devastating” impact on TfL’s finances, which has “made a programme of change urgently necessary”.
“But this change is being delivered in a way that ensures nobody loses their jobs so we’re calling on the RMT to work with us, rather than disrupting London’s recovery and our customers, who deserve better. We’ve been in regular talks with the RMT and are hoping to find an urgent resolution to this dispute to ensure they can call off this unnecessary action.”
The RMT union has also announced that ScotRail workers will be balloted for strike action after they received a “derisory” pay offer of 2.2% – well below the current rates of inflation. Lynch said pay awards needed to reflect the value of railway workers and the service they provided.