The RMT union has called a tube strike for two weeks time, and says that some 4,000 station staff will walk out.
Around 4,000 staff will walk out on Monday 6th June from midnight for 24 hours, meaning that many tube stations will have to close all day.
In addition to the one-day strike, there could be a wider range of station closures due to shortages of staff as RMT members won’t work any overtime or on rest days between Friday 3rd June and Sunday 10th July.
The union says that the strike is because TfL is looking to cut around 600 jobs from the stations. However, TfL is not currently planning to make people redundant but has been looking at whether people should be replaced if they leave. The plans, if carried out would not see any redundancies, but would see the workforce shink as TfL wouldn’t hire around 250 Customer Services vacancies that are currently unfilled, as well as placing controls on future recruitment, with the aim of reducing posts by a further 250-350 as people retire or move on from TfL. If implemented, then TfL would see the customer service workforce fall from around 5,000 to around 4,500 staff
The RMT’s General Secretary Mick Lynch said:”TfL is trying to bulldoze through 600 job losses on London Underground and our members are not prepared to accept that.”
For its part, TfL has argued that as customers have changed their travel habits, not just because of the pandemic, but because of existing trends, such as using contactless payments instead of buying tickets and using their smartphones to look up travel information, then it doesn’t need as many staff in the stations to assist customers. TfL said that its impact assessment showed that there would be no detriment to public safety, although the RMT previously said that this is the “opening shot in a programme of jobs carnage that will target safety critical station grades”.
In addition to there being fewer staff in stations, the RMT has expressed concerns that fewer staff working for TfL today would mean reduced contributions to TfL’s pension scheme, with possible reductions in payouts in the future.
If the tube strike goes ahead, then expect a lot of stations to be closed on Monday 6th June. Train drivers are not part of the strike.