London Underground strike: Tube drivers in favour of walk out which could cause commuter chaos

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The train drivers’ union Aslef has not announced when the strike will take place, but it said there would be “hard-hitting and sustained industrial action across London Underground”.

London commuters could face chaos in the coming weeks as Tube drivers have voted in favour of strike action over pensions disagreements.

An astonishing 99% of ASLEF members - the train drivers’ union - voted for industrial action if Transport for London made changes to pensions and working conditions without negotiations.

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The union has not yet announced when the strike could take place, or how many Tube lines will be affected, but it said there would be “hard-hitting and sustained industrial action across London Underground”.

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.

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Commuters use the Tube. Credit: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty ImagesCommuters use the Tube. Credit: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images
Commuters use the Tube. Credit: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images | AFP via Getty Images

“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.

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“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.

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“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.”

A TfL spokesperson said: "This mandate relates to ongoing discussions with our trade unions.

“We urge ASLEF to continue working with us to resolve these matters without having to resort to industrial action."

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