ASLEF: 99% OF TUBE TRAIN DRIVERS VOTE TO STRIKE ON LONDON UNDERGROUND
ASLEF members on London Underground have returned a massive ‘Yes’ vote in a ballot to protect working conditions and pensions on the transport network in the capital. It means Tube train drivers will go on strike if management try to change agreements without negotiation and force through worse terms and conditions and pensions for our members.
Finn Brennan, ASLEF’s organiser on the Underground, said: ‘98.8% of our Tube train drivers on London Underground have voted in favour of strike action. That’s an extraordinary figure – and a staggering mandate from our members – that sends a clear message to Transport for London.
‘Government cuts to its funding, together with a fall in passenger numbers since the covid pandemic, have led to a financial crisis at TfL. Management and government now want to plug that funding gap by slashing staff pensions and tearing up our agreed working conditions. But this ballot result shows that our Tube train drivers aren’t prepared to let them get away with it.
‘Management should be in no doubt that if they try to force through changes to our agreements, working conditions, or pensions, there will be hard-hitting and sustained industrial action across London Underground. Our members showed huge courage and determination in keeping Underground services operating throughout the pandemic. They do not deserve to be treated like this and are determined – as this vote shows – to protect their working conditions and pensions.
Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, said: ‘The funding gap on the Underground is not the fault of the men and women who, every day, help passengers move around the capital. So there is no reason why the terms on which they are employed should be ripped up. Pensions, for which we pay, are deferred wages. And we are not prepared to have our pensions looted.’
Finn added: ‘Last year Boris Johnson stood on the steps of Downing Street and applauded essential workers. Now his government wants to cut our pensions and attack our working conditions. London needs a well-funded public transport system with staff who are properly rewarded for the work we do. The government needs to provide proper long-term funding for TfL and stop trying to cut services or make staff pay for the problems they have caused.’
Mick added: ‘It’s up to Boris Johnson to step up and do the right thing to help keep the capital moving – he was, once, Mayor of London, and should understand how the capital works – rather than lead a government that hands out dodgy PPE contracts and backs ministers who break the rules on lobbying.’
NOTE to editors:
Tube train drivers were asked: Are you prepared to take part in industrial action consisting of a strike?
Yes: 1,366 [98.8%]
No: 16 [1.2%]
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