London Underground station workers are set to go on strike 24 hours a day on Monday 6 June, the day after the Platinum Jubilee holiday in an argument over layoffs.
The National Rail Transport and Transport Union (RMT) went on strike by 4,000 union members to protest Transport for London’s plan to cut 600 posts to cut costs.
The strike, which followed a twice-weekly strike in early March, is likely to reduce subway service and close stations in central London.
The union also announced a ban on overtime from 3 June, which could have an effect underground during the Jubilee celebrations.
Only station staff, not the 10,000 RMT members who left in March, will go on strike in June as unions attempt to highlight areas where posts will be cut under the London Transport (TfL) proposal.
The TfL has insisted it urgently needs to trigger changes to cut operating costs while revenues still slumped significantly since the coronavirus pandemic, and London is still relying on additional contingency funds to balance its books.
TfL’s chief operating officer, Andy Lord, said the move was unnecessary and was meant to disrupt the Jubilee Weekend. He added: “It is particularly surprising that the RMT threatened to ruin this moment of national unity, as no one will lose or lose their jobs as a result of the proposals we have made, and there are no proposals for a pension change. .
“If RMT decides to continue with this unnecessary action, we will do everything we can to minimize disruption and ensure that everyone gets the most out of their capital during the Jubilee weekend.”
Lord said no one will lose their jobs under the TfL plan to reduce the number of employees by not filling positions when people change jobs or retire. TfL is obligated to seek savings and conduct annuity reviews under the terms of its emergency funding agreement with the government.
However, RMT Secretary General Mick Lynch said:
“The station staff has played an important role in serving the traveling public and was a hero in the 7/7 terrorist attack.
“TfL and Mayor Sadiq Khan should put more pressure on the government to secure increased funding for the network so that they have a modern 21st century tube with the right manpower, rather than seeking layoffs.”
News of additional subway strikes broke out as RMT threatened a nationwide rail strike. Voting results for Network Rail and the 15 train operators are due this week, with a strike likely at the end of June.
Transport Minister Grant Shops has suggested that the government can enforce a minimum level of service for unions that unions have condemned as a threat to their right to strike.