London Underground train drivers to strike in March

London Underground train drivers will strike for 24 hours on March 15 after disagreements with management over forced changes.

ASLEF train drivers for London Underground trains elected to strike after an overwhelming 99% at the turnout of 77% voted in favour of taking action.

Members in management roles and Test Train and Engineering train drivers working on the Underground also voted in favour of striking with comparable numbers with votes.

Finn Brennan, ASLEF’s full-time organiser on the Underground, said: “The size of these “Yes” votes, and the large turnouts, show that our members are not prepared to put up any longer with the threats to their working conditions and pensions.

“We understand that TfL faces financial challenges, post-pandemic, but our members are simply not prepared to pay the price for the government’s failure to properly fund London’s public transport system.”

Brennan explained that management were forcing changes without consideration or agreement, and that their members wanted Transport for London (TfL)’s commitment to ensuring management does not force changes to their loss.

According to him, there were already cuts to safety training and open plans to remove current working arrangements for the sake of ‘modernisation’ and ‘flexibility’.

There was also a planned announcement of proposals to cut pension benefits next week.

Brennan said the union was always happy to discuss changes, but will continue actions if there is no effort made to discuss.

He said: “Unless they are prepared to work with us, and accept that changes have to come by agreement, and bring real benefits to staff, rather than just cuts and cost savings, this will be only the first day of action in a protracted dispute.”

However, Nick Dent, director of customer operations at TfL, said: “We have not proposed changes to anyone’s pensions, and instead have been working with our trade unions to see how we can make London Underground a fairer and more sustainable place.

“We want to make London Underground a better place to work so we urge ASLEF to call off this damaging strike and continue working with us.”

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