London Transport Commissioner Andy Byford said: “We are extremely disappointed that the RMT has announced a strike on the London Underground and Underground for 3 November. We have not yet received any official notification of this action from the RMT.
“We are urging them to withdraw this action and continue to work with us and Arrival Rail London, the operator of the London Overground, to avoid disruption to our customers.
“Regarding the London Underground dispute, there are no changes to TfL pensions and no proposed changes as a result of this recent submission.
“Finding a workable funding agreement with the Government was absolutely essential to the future of London’s transport network and everyone who works at TfL. This submission, recently submitted to the government, satisfies a requirement of the funding agreement. In developing these options, we realized that if a change needed to be made, it would require proper consultation and further work before any decisions could be made.”
what the unions think
RMT and TSSA members are at odds over both wages and plans for sweeping reforms of labor practices.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “The summer of solidarity we have seen will continue into the autumn and winter as employers and the government continue to deny workers reasonable demands.
“We want a resolution to these disputes where our members and their families can reach a clear consensus. And we will not rest until we have a satisfactory result.”
Manuel Cortes, Secretary-General of TSSA, said: “Our members remain resolute in the face of this Tory cost-of-living crisis.
“The issues in this dispute are not going away, and neither are we. We call on employers and the government to advance talks to find a solution to concerns rail workers have about pay, working conditions and job security.
“Railway workers deserve a raise after years of the pay freeze and they deserve job security. These are reasonable demands that we will not back down from.”
Aslef members left one after the other only because of the wages.
Secretary General Mick Whelan said: “You are asking train drivers to take a real pay cut. With inflation now at 12.3 percent – and reportedly set to continue rising – these companies say drivers should be willing to work just as hard and for just as long, but for significantly less.”
What’s up with the series?
During the pandemic, the government had to step in to keep public transport running. On the railways and underground – due to multiple bailouts for Transport for London – it cost taxpayers more than £16billion.
Public transport is undoubtedly busier, but the pandemic has permanently changed travel patterns. Rail bosses, for example, believe there is now a permanent $2 billion hole.
Since privatization in the mid-1990s, the railways have suffered from union resistance to changes in labor practices.
Rail bosses believe costs can be cut significantly by offering voluntary layoffs to thousands of workers, changing outdated work practices and increasing the use of technology.
For unions like the RMT, whose power is being weakened by the reforms, the struggle is vital.
Could it get any worse?
Yes. The Prime Minister and Minister for Transport are pushing ahead with plans to introduce minimum service levels on the railways.
A government source said over the weekend: “The government stood on a manifesto commitment to introduce minimum service levels. As we have seen all too often in recent months, it is wrong that strikes are preventing hard-working people and families across the country from getting to work, doctor appointments and school.
“So we are introducing this legislation to keep Britain moving, to ensure people can get to work, earn their own living and keep the economy growing.”
The plans were ridiculed by Aslef. Mr Whelan said: “The problem is that Truss doesn’t understand how the railway works.
“The rail companies don’t want to offer minimum services because they know that’s a stupid idea. What happens if 100% of passengers try to board trains with a minimum service level of 40%? It will look like Japan, where people are penned up like cattle. And the rolling stock is in the wrong place the next day. Which messes up the normal schedule.
“The government claims that similar laws exist in other European countries such as Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Yes, it does. But what the government doesn’t know – or doesn’t want to say – is that it’s not being enforced. Because they know it won’t work.”
But there is always hope…
Labor disputes regularly end when both sides appear to be at a complete impasse. The rhetoric, particularly from union leaders, often does not reflect the more heartfelt discussions going on behind the scenes.
Industry sources have said on several occasions that negotiators in the room reached an agreement in principle, but it was scrapped after an inspection by union leaders.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/10/19/train-strike-dates-november-tube-rail-affected/ When are the walkouts in November?