Tube strike: RMT union joins Aslef in 15 March London Underground walk-out
Passengers on the London Underground face an almost total shutdown of the Tube network on Wednesday 15 March – coinciding with Budget Day.
Members of the main rail union, the RMT, will join train drivers belonging to Aslef in walking out in a dispute over pensions, job losses and contractual agreements.
The strike comes immediately before the next RMT national stoppage, which is expected to halt most trains in Great Britain on Thursday 16 March.
Transport for London (TfL) has seen a collapse in revenue since the coronavirus pandemic and is dependent on central government subsidies to keep running.
The RMT claims London Underground Ltd – the subsidiary of TfL that runs the Tube – has started to impose 600 redundancies among station staff. The union also says TfL has refused to rule out pension reforms and changes to working arrangements.
The RMT General Secretary, Mick Lynch, said: “Our members will never accept job losses, attacks on their pensions or changes to working conditions in order to pay for a funding cut which is the government’s political decision.
“Tube workers provide an essential service to the capital, making sure the city can keep moving and work long hours in demanding roles.
“In return they deserve decent pensions, job security and good working conditions and RMT will fight and tooth nail to make sure that’s what they get.”
TfL flatly rejects the accusation it is cutting station jobs and says no changes to pensions have been tabled.
Last week Aslef announced a 24-hour strike by London Underground train drivers for 15 March.
Finn Brennan, Aslef’s organiser on the Underground, said: “Our members are not prepared to put up any longer with the threats to their working conditions and pensions.”
Nick Dent, the organisation’s Director of Customer Operations, said: “We have not proposed changes to anyone’s pensions. We 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 and the RMT to call off this damaging strike and continue working with us.”
Almost all Tube services will be cancelled for the day, with the central area completely shut down. The only exceptions are likely to be a few far-flung and isolated parts of the Underground network.
Some London Underground journeys will be disrupted on 16 March due to the walk-out by signallers working for Network Rail. The areas likely to be affected are those where Tube trains share the national network, including stretches of the Bakerloo and District lines.