Maintenance and safety staff working on the Elizabeth line have voted for strike action after they rejected a pay offer.
Staff who work for TfL’s wholly owned subsidiary, Rail for London Infrastructure (RfLI) and are members of the Prospect Union rejected an offer of a 4% pay rise from RfLI. The Prospect union noted that London Underground workers have received 8.4% as did MTR who operate the trains on the Elizabeth line.
In a statutory ballot, 94% voted for strike action with 92% voting for action short of a strike on a turnout well above the regulatory threshold of 50%.
Mike Clancy, General Secretary of Prospect, said: “Our members have worked incredibly hard to get the Elizabeth Line ready to go safely into operation yet they are being treated significantly worse than equivalent workers on the rest of London’s network.”
“The Elizabeth Line itself is now bringing in large extra passenger revenue for TfL and is underspent on its budget so there really ought to be room for some movement on pay.”
The union noted that the Elizabeth line budget is underspent by £38 million and said that was proof that there is money available to provide an increased pay offer. However, the line is only under budget because the line opened early and as a budget had to be set for the financial accounts, coming in under budget does not mean there’s now a pot of cash available that can be spent. It can just as easily mean that the losses are not as bad as expected.
The union says that the exact form and any dates for industrial action will be decided in consultation with members.
A strike of the maintenance staff would not initially see trains suspended, but could mean longer delays if problems occur on the line during the strike due to a shortage of maintenance staff to repair the issue.
The TSSA union is also currently balloting RfLI staff covering the management grades including Traffic Managers, Service Infrastructure Managers and Incident Response Managers. The result of that ballot is expected next Thursday (22nd Dec).