Thousands of commuters face travel chaos across London after Tube drivers announced strike action.
They will take to the picket lines on March 15 – Budget Day – in a dispute over pensions and working arrangements.
Aslef union members in other roles on the Underground – including Test Train and Engineering train drivers and those in management grades – also voted in favour to strike, and will also take action on the same day.
Tube train drivers voted by 99% in favour of strike action, on a turnout of 77%, the union confirmed.
Finn Brennan, Aslef organiser, stressed that the large turnouts shows members are ‘not prepared to put up any longer with the threats to their working conditions and pensions’.
‘Our members are not prepared to pay the price for the government’s failure to properly fund London’s public transport system,’ he said.
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‘Cuts to safety training have already been forced through and management is open that they plan to remove all current working agreements under the guise of “modernisation” and “flexibility” and to replace the agreed attendance and discipline policies.
‘Proposals to slash pension benefits are due to be announced in the next week.
‘We are always prepared to discuss and negotiate on changes, but our members want an unequivocal commitment from TfL that management will not continue to force through detrimental changes without agreement.
‘Unless they are prepared to work with us, and accept that changes have to come by agreement, and bring real benefits to staff, rather than just cuts and cost savings, this will be only the first day of action in a protracted dispute.’
The fresh 24-hour strike on the Underground marks a dramatic escalation in the row over pensions and TfL’s bid to make efficiency savings by changing working practices and not replacing departing staff.
Everyone from railway workers and teachers to nurses have taken part in strikes over the last few months.
Around 100,000 civil servants in the Public and Commercial Services union are also planning to strike on Budget day in a long running dispute over jobs, pay and pensions.
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