Tube strike: RMT union to join Aslef in 24-hour walkout on Budget day

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London Underground workers from the RMT and Aslef unions will walk out on March 15, on the same day Chancellor Jeremy Hunt presents his Budget to Parliament.

More London Underground staff are set to join the 24 hour strike action on March 15, Budget day, a union has announced.

Members of the RMT union will walk out as part of a long-running dispute over pensions, job losses and contractual agreements.

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They will join members of the Aslef union who announced last week their plans to strike.

London Underground workers from the RMT and Aslef unions will both strike on March 15. Credit: Getty ImagesLondon Underground workers from the RMT and Aslef unions will both strike on March 15. Credit: Getty Images
London Underground workers from the RMT and Aslef unions will both strike on March 15. Credit: Getty Images | Getty Images

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "Our members will never accept job losses, attacks on their pensions or changes to working conditions in order to pay for a funding cut which is the government’s political decision.

"Tube workers provide an essential service to the capital, making sure the city can keep moving and work long hours in demanding roles.

"In return they deserve decent pensions, job security and good working conditions and RMT will fight tooth and nail to make sure that’s what they get."

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Aslef called the March 15 strike because it said TfL chiefs had failed to accept the principle that any changes to pensions or working conditions should only happen by agreement.

Last week Finn Brennan, Aslef’s full-time organiser on London Underground, warned this would be the first day of action "in a protracted dispute" with TfL.

“We understand that TfL faces financial challenges, post-pandemic, but our members are simply not prepared to pay the price for the government’s failure to properly fund London’s public transport system,” he said.

Commuters may have to find alternative transport on March 15. Credit: Getty ImagesCommuters may have to find alternative transport on March 15. Credit: Getty Images
Commuters may have to find alternative transport on March 15. Credit: Getty Images | AFP via Getty Images

Nick Dent, director of customer operations at Transport for London (TfL), said: "We have not proposed changes to anyone’s pensions.

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"We have been working with our trade unions to see how we can make London Underground a fairer and more sustainable place.

"We want to make London Underground a better place to work so we urge Aslef and the RMT to call off this damaging strike and continue working with us."

The row over pensions resulted in six 24 hour RMT Tube strikes last year and remains unresolved.

An extended deadline that was set for Tuesday for the government and TfL to agree a way forward on possible pension reform has been extended until March 17.

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The Tube strike is due to be followed on March 16 by the first in a renewed series of national rail strikes in a long-running dispute over pay.

RMT members at Network Rail are also due to walk out on March 16, followed by a series of overtime bans.

Rail bosses said the strikes are "unjustified".

"This latest round of strikes is totally unjustified and will be an inconvenience to our customers, and cost our people more money at a time they can least afford it," said a spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents train companies.

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