A strike has been announced by the TSSA union for its members working on the Elizabeth line, with the walkout due to take place on Thursday 12th January 2023. In addition, action short of a strike (effectively comprising a ‘work to rule’ instruction) will run from 12th January to 28th February 2023.

The union says that the dispute is over pay and proposed changes to pensions.

The union says that the walkouts by staff at Rail for London (Infrastructure) Limited — a wholly owned part of TfL are likely to cause disruption on the Elizabeth line as while not that many people are on strike, its members work in essential roles, including Traffic Managers, Service and Infrastructure, and Incident Response Manager grades.

The industrial action follows a ballot in which members voted 90% in favour of strike action and 95% in favour of action short of strike on an 80% turnout – comfortably passing the legal threshold required for industrial action.

Commenting, TSSA Organiser, Mel Taylor said: “Our members have sent the company a very clear message that they are not prepared to be pushed around on pay and pensions.”

“Frankly, we have been left with little option because we know workers at Rail for London Infrastructure (RfLI) are being paid significantly less than equivalent colleagues across the TfL network.”

TSSA members have already rejected a 4 per cent pay rise for this year and 4.4 per cent for next year.

Elizabeth line staff employed by RfLI and members of the Prospect Union have also voted for strike action, but a date hasn’t been set for that yet. That strike would affect maintenance workers, so is less likely to have an immediate impact on passenger services.


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  1. Daniel says:

    Unions are doing there best to kill off rail travel in the UK. Just like they did with steelmaking, mining and shipbuilding.

    • ChrisC says:

      Yet it’s not the unions that have failed to recruit additional train drivers to operate the train services the TOCs said they would run.

      It’s not the unions that have failed to include weekend working in contracts rather than rely on voluntary overtime. That’s down to the TOCs (though some have negotiated such contracts).

    • ianVisits says:

      None of those issues are anything to do with the Elizabeth line or this strike though.

    • Alex says:

      I completely agree. Children stamping their feet when they don’t get more pocket money. It’s pathetic.

    • .Nigel Grant says:

      It is not the Trade Unions who are responsible for the killing off our Railways etc. It is the Government who have planned this dispute all along just like their involvement in the Miners strike in the 80s. Trade Unions are standing up for their members and the public by defending their services such as the NHS. They are are standing up for our freedoms which were hard fought for throughout the last century. The rights we have today such as Maternity leave, sickness benefits and holidays etc came about as a result of Trade Union pressure and challenges. We owe our Trade Unions a lot and it is important we get behind them and give them support. The Government support the Employers who in many instances are making huge profits but not reinvesting in badly needed infrastructure etc. The country needs to wake up to the deliberate undermining and attacks on our Trade Unions and freedoms before it is too late. Solidarity with our Trade Unions.

    • Christian David says:

      Rail was killed when it was privatised. Its a broken service when it’s running and th3 most expensive in Europe. Embarrassing

    • Smudger says:

      Why are the unions getting the blame ???? Do you know how it works ? Every employee can join a union. Pay increases are negotiated by the company and the union, who represent the EMPLOYEES. It’s the EMPLOYEES who are asking the unions to fight for better pay, terms and conditions, on their behalf. Why shouldn’t RFLI employees be payed the same as those doing the exact same jobs for LUL ?
      Far too many are too quick to blame the unions. The u ions are the voice for the people and up and down the country in every sector the people have had enough.
      Amazing show of strength in numbers. Great effort

    • Jonathan Ryan says:

      All those industries were killed off by neo-liberalism, along with hundreds more that weren’t unionised. If it can be outsourced to cheaper labour or cheaper environmental protections it will be. Blame the unions if you want, but it was intentional government policy that lead to the demise of British industry.

  2. Chris says:

    More reasons to go full ATO

    • John Webb says:

      I don’t get that, it’s not ASLEF on strike. Maybe read the article.

    • ChrisC says:

      And pray tell us where the billions it will cost to implement on the entire rail network come from?

      And if it was that easy to implement then why did nothing happen in London under the previous mayor to even start the process?

      Possibly because it’s not that cheap or easy. But it makes a nice sound bite.

    • Steven says:

      Billions can come from the pensions of trade unionists. It was never implement because trade unions opposed it obviously. They are just looking out for their own jobs and pensions. Trade unions would love the rail to stay in its 1980s state so long as they retire on fat pensions

  3. James says:

    I think the passengers should go on strike for the whole of 2023 from the 1st of January and stop paying the strikers. Then in 2024 pay them the same as I earn and see how they like it. I am an engineer by trade.

    • Michael says:

      You noticed it’s the infrastructure people, not the drivers. They’d probably be ecstatic with your pay

    • Mark says:

      I would love the passenger’s to go on strike as the fares are paid directly to the government that would bring them to the negotiating table

    • Alison says:

      James when people go on strike your tax money goes to the train companies. The strikers are losing their days pay. The government use your money to go to the train companies its called stalemate. That’s why the new timetables have been reduced across all Tocs The government is happy to handover £3 million every strike day to all the train companies but not to work things out with the unions. This government has been the most wasteful government in history when it comes to money management

    • Woolwich Resident says:

      Based on recent experience with Southeastern, they would use that as an excuse to further cut services.

  4. D says:

    I think that from now, the whole Elizabeth line should be for free… all the there are some problems between Sheffield and Liverpool St.
    All The time the train is late,cancel or on strike.
    Im just a chef and now I have to pay more to get to work.
    Can I strike and stop paying the whole TFL??
    They always want more money, how they get it, if they are on strike??

    • ianVisits says:

      If there really were problems “all the time” on the Elizabeth line, why isn’t it a major news story about how unreliable the Elizabeth line is?

      Maybe because there aren’t problems all the time.

  5. Jud Kirk says:

    Compared to Europe, British rail workers are massively overpaid. Union activity, very reminiscent of the 70s and the 80s, is driven by the self interest of the members. They couldn’t give a stuff about the public!

    • ChrisC says:

      Do you have any data on train drivers salaries across Europe?

      The unions that represent the staff at Dutch Trains (NS) got a 9.25 % rise after a series of strikes for their members along with €1000 bonus for 2022 and 2023 as well as changes to working practices

      Staff at Arriva who run some trains in the north of Holland went on a couple of weeks before Christmas over a 5% offer

      So yes that 70s and 80s attitude is only restricted Britain!

      Unions are there to represent their members so of course that’s their focus!

    • Martin says:

      So striking because one company does not pay same amount as other company for doing the same job.
      It is like that in most industries.
      Correct me if I am wrong. Government outsources the rail contracts for companies to bid for and do the job. So then the wage increase should be down to the company not government.
      Iike when I worked for Heathrow doing IT. Heathrow outsourced the IT contract.so my pay rise was down to new company not Heathrow.

  6. andy says:

    So here’s an idea! Rail tickets would have a minimum price which everyone pays, and then there could be a voluntary additional contribution payable by everyone who uses the service thinks railway staff are underpaid.
    The total of the voluntary contributions could be used to fund their pay rise across the company, reflecting real public support for their action and satisfaction with the service.
    If nobody supports it, bingo! The railway staff still get the salaries affordable from the current basic fare structure. And if everyone pays an extra 15%, then they get a 15% pay rise!
    And everyone in the string above who thinks that £36k/year is a pittance can contribute to the solution from their own disposable income.

  7. jim bennett says:

    Avanti West Coast rewarded with over £4m in taxpayer-funded bonuses
    The boss of train company Avanti’s parent company has been given a £1m share bonus in the week that his staff go out on
    strike. Alan Sutherland takes the money alongside all these rail bosses

  8. J says:

    The strikes are doing everyone else over in hospitality and retail!

    I struggle to get to work, and spend extra time commuting to get to my shifts (sometimes spending more on an extended journey)
    My colleagues lose shifts and therefore pay because we have no trade.

    My salary is built of a low base salary and a non guaranteed sales based commission. My projected commission over December was lost because of cancelled bookings due to train strikes, everyone is losing out because of these disruptive strikes

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