The core section of the Elizabeth line is likely to be closed on the day of its first anniversary, as Elizabeth line staff who are members of the TSSA union are to walk out on strike in a dispute over pay.

The union says that the one-day strike is due to an ongoing dispute over the pay of key operational staff, which it says are paid less than their counterparts who work for other divisions within Transport for London (TfL). The TSSA members going on strike work in roles, including Traffic Managers, Service and Infrastructure, and Incident Response Managers grades.

If the strike goes ahead, then based on the impact of their previous strike earlier this year, then the central section of the Elizabeth line – between Paddington and Abbey Wood will not have any trains. Services to the west and east over National Rail tracks will run, but may have a limited service.

The strike will also likely affect early morning services the following day.

There will be wider disruption as well, as action short of a strike, (essentially consisting of an overtime ban and removal of good will) will run from Saturday 27th May to Sunday 4th June, unless a resolution to the dispute is agreed.

TSSA Organising Director, Mel Taylor, said, “We’ve been in talks with management for almost a year now, yet the majority of our members have been offered an uplift of just over 1% to make up for the huge pay differentials.”

“Elizabeth Line staff work weekends, nights and even Christmas Day, operating the world’s only fully digital railway, but many earn less than two thirds of the salary paid to other TfL staff in similar roles.”

TSSA Members working on the Elizabeth line voted by nine to one in favour of strike action last December. They have already rejected a 4 per cent pay rise for this year and 4.4 per cent for next year.

The one-day strike will take place on Wednesday 24th May 2023.

Howard Smith, Director of the Elizabeth line, said: “Strikes are bad news for everyone, and we have worked with the TSSA to try to resolve this dispute, including undertaking a separate benchmarking exercise to review the competitiveness of the salary ranges on offer. We urge them to continue to work with us rather than resorting to industrial action.”

Updated 10th May with comment from TfL.


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