Union ups the ante with call for 24-hour London tube strike
The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has threatened to stage a 24-hour walkout of London Underground drivers on a weekday. This puts additional pressure on Transport for London (TfL) and the UK government in an ongoing dispute over rosters and work/life balance.
The step, announced late last week, would be a marked departure from the current strikes, which last eight hours on Friday and Saturday evenings.
RMT now wants members to stage a walkout from midnight to midnight on Tuesday, March 1, and then again on Thursday, March 3. The union anticipates some 10.000 members will take part in the strike, which would cause major disruptions for London Underground passengers.
Union and TfL trade barbs
TfL has labelled the announcement as “extremely disappointing”. The company also said the walkout is not as widely backed by union members as RMT claims.
“Our members will be taking strike action next month because a financial crisis at London Underground has been deliberately engineered by the Government to drive a cuts’ agenda which would savage jobs, services, safety and threaten their working conditions and pensions”, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said about the plans.
“No proposals have been tabled on pensions or terms and conditions, and nobody has or will lose their jobs as a result of the proposals we have set out”, TfL coo Andy Lord was quoted as saying by various media outlets including the Mail Online.
The London Underground drivers’ night strike is now in its sixth week, with the next eight-hour walkout planned for Friday. RMT last month vowed to continue their strike action until June.