RMT strikes set to cause major disruption on the Tube network
- Strike action has been called despite there being no proposals tabled on pensions or conditions, and no job losses
- TfL's actions to make London Underground more efficient and financially sustainable - including an independent review of its pension arrangements - are in response to Government conditions of funding agreements.
- If the strike goes ahead, TfL expects severe disruption across all Tube lines, with stations closed and little or no service across the network. Other modes will run as usual but are likely to be busier
- With the possibility of no Tube service, journeys in London would be significantly more difficult, so customers should only make essential journeys, leave more time and check before they travel
Tube customers have been advised that the RMT's planned strike action will cause severe disruption across the London Underground network all day on Tuesday (1 March) and Thursday (3 March), if it goes ahead. Transport for London (TfL) expects severe disruption across all Tube lines, with the possibility of no services on the London Underground.
The planned action is also likely to severely impact services on Wednesday (2 March) and Friday (4 March), particularly in the morning peak.
This action comes as part of a dispute over pensions, jobs and conditions - despite the fact no proposals have been tabled on pensions or terms and conditions, and nobody has or will lose their jobs because of the proposals TfL has set out. TfL met the RMT at the conciliation service ACAS last week and again this week.
TfL will do all it can to provide as many transport options as possible, but customers are advised to check before they travel, consider if their travel is essential and work from home if possible. They should leave more time for journeys and travel at quieter times where possible.
Other TfL and National Rail services are not included in the RMT's strike action - however, services are expected to be much busier than usual and customers may need to queue before boarding. Customers in central London are advised to walk, cycle or use a rental e-scooter for all or part of their journeys where possible if the planned action goes ahead.
TfL strongly encourages customers to wear face coverings on its services to drive down transmission of the virus and keep each other as safe as possible.
Andy Lord, TfL's Chief Operating Officer, said:
'It is extremely disappointing that the RMT is planning to go ahead with this action. We haven't proposed any changes to pensions or terms and conditions, and nobody has or will lose their jobs because of the proposals we have set out. I hope the RMT will get around the table with us, continue talks and call off this disruptive action, which will cause huge frustration for our customers and further financial damage to TfL and London's economy when we should be working together to rebuild following the pandemic.
'If the RMT does go ahead with this action, then anyone who needs to travel on 1 and 3 March should check before they make their journey, consider whether they are able to work from home and use alternative modes of transport where possible. I understand the frustration this proposed strike action will inevitably cause, and can assure customers that we are doing everything we can to mitigate the impacts. Making journeys will be more difficult if the RMT's strike goes ahead, so I urge any customers to please be considerate towards each other and TfL staff.'
London's high-frequency bus services will continue to run throughout the planned strike action although are expected to be busier than normal, as will London Overground, DLR, TfL Rail and London Trams. Further information will be available ahead of, and during, the strikes at tfl.gov.uk/tube-strike as well as on the TfL Go app and Journey Planner.
The strike action has been called despite assurances from TfL that nobody will lose their jobs because of proposals, and fewer than 50 per cent of RMT members voting in favour of industrial action. The RMT is being encouraged to work with TfL rather than disrupting London's recovery in response to no job losses and no proposals on pensions or terms and conditions.
As part of the most recent funding agreements, the Government has required TfL to work towards achieving financial sustainability by April 2023. This means TfL must speed up its pre-pandemic savings programme. As part of this, TfL has been engaging with its trade unions and staff to seek their views on how it can make London Underground more efficient and financially sustainable, while continuing to deliver the highest standards of safety, reliability and customer service. TfL has committed to its staff and trade unions that the safety of staff and customers will always remain paramount and the changes will protect as many jobs as possible for the people who work for TfL today, allowing more flexibility to adapt to changing customer requirements.
TfL is completely committed to its renowned customer service offer, with stations staffed at all times while trains are operating, but must bring staffing levels in line with customer need while protecting as many jobs as possible. This will be done by not recruiting into certain currently unfilled posts, or those that become vacant as people leave the organisation. The Underground will remain well staffed, with more than 4,500 station staff available across the network to assist customers and keep them safe, supplemented by enforcement teams and police colleagues.
There are no plans for changes on pensions. Sir Brendan Barber, with the support of pensions expert Joanne Segars, is leading and facilitating an independent review of TfL's pension arrangements, which is a condition of the 1 June Government funding agreement. Sir Brendan is committed to fully involving stakeholders throughout the review process, including all TfL's recognised trade unions, gathering their input and regularly sharing observations and relevant information. This is simply a review and there are no plans for change. The review remains ongoing and no recommendations have yet been made.
Notes to editors:
- Full travel advice is available at tfl.gov.uk/tube-strike
- The RMT has confirmed strike action from 00:01 to 23:59 on 1 and 3 March although the impacts could continue into the morning of 2 and 4 March. TfL remains open to talks
- Services on the evening of 28 February and 2 March are expected to run as normal, except for the last service from Acton Town to Uxbridge, which will depart 15 minutes earlier at 00:44.
- As part of the most recent funding agreement between TfL and the Government, TfL is required to work towards achieving financial sustainability by April 2023. This means TfL has had to speed up its pre-pandemic savings programme, with an overall target for recurring savings of just over £500m for London Underground. Going ahead with this industrial action will further impact TfL's finances as well as impeding London's recovery from the pandemic
- Those arriving into London via National Rail stations are encouraged to complete journeys on foot or by using Santander Cycles as buses from London termini will be busier than normal