In a bid to avoid potential disruption to public transportation, the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers’ Union (RMT) has called on London Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) to engage in unconditional talks through the conciliation service ACAS.
The plea comes as London Underground workers, supported by over 90% in favour, are set to initiate rolling strikes this week following dissatisfaction with a below-inflation pay offer.
The union, which had previously been invited for talks with TfL this week, is pushing for comprehensive discussions on restoring full staff travel facilities to prevent the creation of a two-tier workforce. The refusal of TfL to address this issue has fueled the discontent among RMT members.
RMT General Secretary, Mick Lynch, stressed that Tube workers are unwilling to accept subpar offers and continuous erosion of their working conditions. “Our members have made it clear that they are prepared to take action, and we urge TfL to enter into meaningful conciliatory talks to avert disruption in the capital,” Lynch stated.
The scheduled strikes, affecting various aspects of London’s transportation network, are as follows:
- Engineering train drivers will initiate action on January 5 and 6.
- RMT members in LUL’s network control functions will strike on January 7 and 8.
- Members in the tubes signaling and service control functions will take action on January 9 and 11.
- All other RMT members, including engineering, fleet maintenance, stations, and train operators, are set to strike on January 8 and 10.
In response to the impending strikes, TfL has advised passengers to only travel if the journey is essential during the planned RMT tube strikes next week, from Sunday, January 7, to Friday, January 12, 2024.
London Travel Watchdog expressed concerns about the potential impact on the transportation network, noting the recent surge in demand. “Towards the end of 2023, we saw London Underground journeys reach four million a day, so it’s clear that demand is well and truly back after the pandemic,” the watchdog said.
“If these strikes do go ahead as planned, they will be really disruptive for passengers. This is not the start to the new year Londoners wanted.”
As negotiations hang in the balance, the people of Harrow brace themselves for the possibility of significant transportation disruptions in the coming week.