Biggest strike in 13 years shuts down the London Underground
Transport workers in London have engaged in the biggest strike in 13 years and have brought the entire London Underground network to a standstill.
Our colleagues in the UK were striking over pay and rosters for the new all-night tube services which will be introduced. Talks broke down between tube managers and the unions resulting in the strike action which has shut down a city.
Four British unions have banded together in the dispute with TfL – the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, ASLEF, the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) and Unite.
The strike is a courageous move by the members and a big show of strength for the unions, who have warned that unless London Underground improved its offer, there would be more strikes to come.
RMT general secretary, Mick Cash, told The Guardian: “Despite strenuous efforts by union negotiators to press London Underground to address the issues of fairness, safety, work-life balance and equality at the heart of this dispute, they have come up with nothing in the talks.”
An organiser for ASLEF said that management was squarely to blame for the disruption caused for commuters because they had refused to negotiate fairly and had demanded that all four unions accept an offer in one afternoon.
Seb Michnowicz, a train driver and member of ASLEF said that the strike was about rostering.
“As the proposals currently stand, tube workers are being opened up to the possibility of working unlimited night shifts, running roughshod over their entitlement to a life outside work. It’s akin an office manager telling their 9-to-5 staff that they are to work from 2 o’clock in the afternoon to 10 at night without asking if that’s alright,” he writes in an article for the UK’s Huffington Post titled ‘Tonight’s Tube Strike is Entirely Justified’.
Transport workers around the world face many of the same issues around cost cutting, rostering, and health and safety. We stand in solidarity with our colleagues working on the London tube.