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London Underground strikes: workers announce six-day disruption

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London Underground strikes: workers announce six-day disruption



London Tube workers will strike for six days in a row over pensions, job cuts and working conditions.

Underground workers will walk out from Sunday 23 July to Friday 28 July, the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) has announced.

The union said there would be no strike on Monday, 24 July while workers in different grades will take action on each of the other days.

The strikes are part of a long-running dispute between the RMT and Transport for London (TfL).

The action is in response to planned cuts to around 600 London Underground jobs, which the union says will affect Tube stations and maintenance operations.

The RMT has also accused TfL bosses of attempting to impose a £100m pension cut that they say will make London Underground workers poorer in retirement if approved.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “This week of action will shut down the London Underground and show just how important the work of our members is.

“Plans by TfL to cut 600 jobs and attack our members’ pensions are simply unacceptable.

“We are aware that Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has had the TfL budget cut.

“However, he needs to align himself with our union and his London Underground staff in pushing back against the Tory government, exposing their damaging agenda to a key part of London transport infrastructure.”

Glynn Barton, TfL’s chief operating officer, said it was “disappointed” by the action and urged union members to reconsider to engage in talks

He said: “There are no current proposals to change pension arrangements and, although we are discussing with union colleagues a range of proposals to improve how London Underground operates, no employee will lose their job or be asked to work additional hours.

“We are trying to create a fairer, more efficient London Underground that works for our staff and for London.

“All stations would remain well staffed at all times and we believe that our proposals would give an even better and more reliable service to our customers both in terms of our stations and our train services.”

Union leaders wrote to Mr Khan in April, calling for an end to job losses and other cuts on London Underground, warning that stations were closing or being left unstaffed because of cost-cutting.

In the letter, Mick Lynch wrote: “Stations were closed on 2,115 occasions last year, compared with a pre-pandemic high of 649.

“Of course, this is only a figure for closures. More often, stations will have been left open with no staff.

Mr Lynch said he was concerned about the “strain” the proposed cuts are putting on Tube workers, claiming they face a third of their pension being cut.

He added: “This situation cannot go on. I urge you to refuse to make further spending cuts on London Underground.”

The new set of strikes comes after nearly a year of train strikes across the board by RMT and other rail unions.

Unions say any pay offer should reflect the rising cost of living – with the inflation rate only recently having dipped below 10 per cent.

But the rail bosses say the sector is under pressure to save money following the pandemic and reforms are needed to afford pay increases and modernise the railway.

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