London Underground workers and Abellio bus drivers are striking once again over pay and conditions.
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) is marking the 35th anniversary of King’s Cross Underground fire with a period of industrial action.
A fire broke out at the station on 18 November, 1987, claiming the lives of 31 people and injuring more than 100 others.
The RMT, which has been at the forefront of strike action across the rail network in 2022, is calling for an end to job cuts on the Tube.
Here’s what you need to know.
Is there a Tube strike tomorrow?
Yes. There will be a full strike on Friday 25 November.
London Underground managers are pressing forward with imposing new rosters that will reduce the number of staff available in the capital’s Tube stations, according to the RMT union, cutting 600 station staff roles, including at King’s Cross station.
The union says cuts to station staff reduce the Underground’s ability to assist with evacuations in the event of fire or other catastrophic incidents.
RMT members at four stations – Victoria Centre (Euston and Green Park), King’s Cross, Heathrow (Heathrow Terminals, Hatton Cross, Hounslow West), and the mobile Special Requirements Team (SRT) are participating in an overtime ban from 20-26 November.
Overtime bans, which stop short of strike action, involve staff refusing to work outside of their contracted hours.
Workers will embark on full strike action on Friday 25 November.
The stations affected may open later and close earlier, or at short notice, TFL said, though trains will run as normal.
- Green Park
- Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3
- Heathrow Terminal 4
- Heathrow Terminal 5
- Hatton Cross
- Hounslow West
- King’s Cross St Pancras
For more information go here.
What has been said about the Tube strikes?
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch, said: “The King’s Cross fire was a pivotal moment in the history of the Underground and mass transit in Britain, and in the wake of the disaster, a completely new safety critical culture was built in which the vital role that staff play was fully recognised, on the basis that such a thing should never happen again.
“In pressing on with their plans to cut more station staff jobs, London Underground’s managers are making a historic error and unpicking the work that dates back to 1987. RMT will mark another anniversary of this tragedy by continuing to vigorously stand up against job cuts, taking strike action where we need to.”
Nick Dent, director of customer operations at London Underground, said: “We are disappointed that the RMT has announced strike action at a small number of Tube stations on Friday November 25.
“We are changing how we staff our Tube stations but all stations will remain staffed at all times while trains are operating.
“Nobody has or will lose their jobs because of the proposals TfL has set out and any changes we make to station staffing levels will be closely monitored to measure their impact.
“I’m urging the RMT to work with us and call off this action.”
When are the bus strikes?
There are strikes planned on Abellio bus services. Routes affected are mostly in west and south London. Action is planned for the following days:
- Friday 25 and Saturday 26 November
- Thursday 1, Friday 2 and Saturday 3 December
- Friday 9 and Saturday 10 December
- Friday 16 and Saturday 17 December
The following routes will be affected:
3, 27, 45, 63, 68, 109, 130, 156, 195, 196, 201, 207, 267, 270, 278, 315, 322, 350, 367, 381, 407, 415, 427, 433, 464, 482, 490, 969, C10, E5, E7, E10, E11, H20, H25, H28, H26, P5, P13, R68, R70, S4, U5, U7, U9
Route 481 will operate but with fewer services on weekdays from 7.30-8am, and from 3-4pm. Remaining services will be busier than normal.
24, 111, 159, 285, 344, 345
N3, N27, N63, N68, N109, N207, N381
What has been said about the bus strikes?
Unite the union has said that the strikes come after bus operator Abellio failed to “enter into meaningful pay talks”.
Louise Cheeseman, director of buses at TfL, said: “We apologise for any disruption caused to Londoners. There still will be options for people to travel in west and south London, but other routes may be busier than normal.
“We’re encouraging everyone in these areas to plan ahead, check before they travel and leave more time for their journeys. Our free TfL Go app and website are really easy ways to check your travel.”
Customers are advised to check before they do so and leave extra time for their journeys and where possible opt for other routes, such as the Underground.
What about national rail strikes?
TfL says national rail strikes that were due to affect London Overground services on Saturday 26 November have been suspended.
The union said operator Arriva Rail London made an offer and they have put it to members.
“Members at London Overground will now have the opportunity to consider and vote on whether to accept the offer,” said Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan.
There will still be a strike on 26 November, called by Aslef over pay involving train companies including Avanti West Coast, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, Northern Trains, Southeastern, West Midlands Trains and East Midlands Railway – all of which will have no services running.
Strikes on these lines will continue into December.