Union fears support is conditional on cuts to pension benefits
London’s Tube network is set to face yet more disruption in the coming months as further strike action is “likely” following the latest TfL funding deal, a union has warned.
On Tuesday, it was announced that TfL had accepted a multi-billion pound bailout from the Government that will keep services running and fund maintenance and infrastructure projects through to March 2024.
But Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said that “onerous” conditions attached to the deal by Government meant it was “far from ideal”, with fare increases, service cuts and changes to TfL staff pensions still on the cards.
The Tube network was brought to an almost complete standstill on August 19 when members of the union walked out over fears that the bailout, which RMT says was negotiated “in secret”, would lead to job and pensions cuts.
On Wednesday morning, the RMT union announced that the conditions imposed by the Government will “likely” lead to more strikes.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “This deal negotiated in secret by TfL and Government ministers will likely see our members pensions attacked and further pay restraint in the future, coupled with driverless trains.
“Grant Shapps’ attack on Tube workers would be unacceptable at any time but in an escalating cost of living crisis it is shameful and will be resisted through further strike action.
“TfL need to stand up to Grant Shapps and demand a deal that serves all the people of London and addresses the real concerns of London transport workers who keep the capital running.”
The biggest point of contention for unions contained within the funding agreement is the condition that TfL has until September to outline how it intends to move its pension scheme into a “long-term, financially sustainable position”.
That is despite Sadiq Khan saying in June that he was “not persuaded that there are any grounds to change the pensions” of those working for TfL and that it was “for the Government to make the case” following an independent review into TfL’s pensions.
Unions are also strongly opposed to the Government’s provision that TfL should “assess the case” for driverless trains on the Tube network, something that has been included in previous funding deals.
In a Tweet, Sadiq Khan has accused the Government of attempting to “provoke further industrial action”, which he said will lead to “more disruption” and “misery” for London’s commuters.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the deal “more than delivers for Londoners” and matches the Mayor of London’s own pre-pandemic spending plans.
Mr Shapps said, “The Mayor must follow through on his promises to get TfL back on a steady financial footing, stop relying on Government bailouts and take responsibility for his actions.”
Joe Talora - Local Democracy Reporter
Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More
This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.
Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.
We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.
However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.
We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.
A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.
One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.
If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.
For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.
August 31, 2022