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TfL blame the workers for ignoring their plea to resolve the issue amicably…reports Asian Lite News

Commuters in London were thrown into chaos on Tuesday when nearly all tube services have been suspended as about 10,000 London Underground workers from the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union went on a planned 24-hour strike.

The strike follows unresolved dispute between RMT and Transport for London (TfL) over the latter’s alleged plans to cut up to 600 station posts, as well as concerns over pensions and working conditions.

Other TfL services including bus, London Overground, TfL Rail, DLR (Docklands Light Railway), London Trams and National Rail, are operating normally, but with long waiting lines. Another 24-hour strike is planned on Thursday, RMT said in the statement.

“It’s highly unlikely there will be an Underground service running during the strike action and services are likely to be affected on the mornings of Wednesday and Friday too,” said Andy Lord, TfL’s chief operating officer.

Tuesday’s strike coincided with the hike to London’s tube and bus fares, which rose by an average of 4.8 percent, the sharpest rise in a decade, as Britain’s inflation soars.

TfL blame the workers for ignoring their plea to resolve the issue amicably.

“The strike action has been called despite assurances from TfL that nobody will lose their jobs because of proposals, and fewer than 50 per cent of RMT members voting in favour of industrial action. The RMT is being encouraged to work with TfL rather than disrupting London’s recovery in response to no job losses and no proposals on pensions or terms and conditions,” TfL said in a statement.

“As part of the most recent funding agreements, the Government has required TfL to work towards achieving financial sustainability by April 2023. This means TfL must speed up its pre-pandemic savings programme. As part of this, TfL has been engaging with its trade unions and staff to seek their views on how it can make London Underground more efficient and financially sustainable, while continuing to deliver the highest standards of safety, reliability and customer service. TfL has committed to its staff and trade unions that the safety of staff and customers will always remain paramount and the changes will protect as many jobs as possible for the people who work for TfL today, allowing more flexibility to adapt to changing customer requirements.”

“TfL is completely committed to its renowned customer service offer, with stations staffed at all times while trains are operating, but must bring staffing levels in line with customer need while protecting as many jobs as possible. This will be done by not recruiting into certain currently unfilled posts, or those that become vacant as people leave the organisation. The Underground will remain well staffed, with more than 4,500 station staff available across the network to assist customers and keep them safe, supplemented by enforcement teams and police colleagues.

“There are no plans for changes on pensions. Sir Brendan Barber, with the support of pensions expert Joanne Segars, is leading and facilitating an independent review of TfL’s pension arrangements, which is a condition of the 1 June Government funding agreement. Sir Brendan is committed to fully involving stakeholders throughout the review process, including all TfL’s recognised trade unions, gathering their input and regularly sharing observations and relevant information. This is simply a review and there are no plans for change. The review remains ongoing and no recommendations have yet been made.”

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