London Underground workers to stage walkout on 19 August in row over jobs and pensions, RMT says



Workers on the London Underground are to stage a 24-hour walkout next month, joining a growing wave of discontent on the railways set to repeatedly grind the country to a halt.

The RMT union said the new Tube strike has been prompted by Transport for London’s “refusal” to share details of a draft Government proposal for funding the transport system.

The union said it is giving TfL until 2 August to give assurances on jobs, pensions and working conditions.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Our members will once again take to picket lines in this important dispute over pensions, jobs and conditions.

“They have been messed around by TfL and Mayor Sadiq Khan. And to add insult to injury, they have not seen the detail of this funding letter from Government.

“Unless there can be assurances made about jobs, pensions and detrimental changes to working conditions, then our strike on 19 August will go ahead.”

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The announcement comes one day before a separate 24-hour RMT walkout including rail signallers and thousands of workers across the UK, with rail services to be pared back to a skeleton service running at just 20 per cent of normal capacity on Wednesday.

The strike action on Network Rail and 14 train operators will also take place on August 18 and 20.

Station and maintenance members of the TSSA union will join the walkout on 18 August and 20 August, while the Aslef train drivers’ union is also set for a wave of strike action.

RMT separately said on Tuesday that it remained “optimistic” that a deal could be reached to avert some of the looming strike action across the rail network.

A spokesperson said: “We were optimistic about making enough progress to suspend strike action. That is how we always approach negotiations because RMT is serious about getting a negotiated settlement.

“However, that evaporated when Network Rail hardened their position on attacking our members conditions of work and even threatening to put compulsory redundancies back on the table.

“Threatening us as they did with punishing our members with compulsory redundancies and 50% cuts in maintenance schedules is a poor negotiating tactic and will lead to extending the time it takes to reach a deal.”

Tory leadership frontrunner Liz Truss has pledged to push forward plans in her first 30 days in power to require minimum service levels on critical national infrastructure, as well as raising the required threshold for a strike ballot, requiring four-week notice periods for strikes, and putting an end to members receiving tax-free payments from trade unions on the days they are on strike.

MR RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “The proposals by Liz Truss amount to the biggest attack on trade union and civil rights since labour unions were legalised in 1871.

“Truss is proposing to make effective trade unionism illegal in Britain and to rob working people of a key democratic right.

“If these proposals become law, there will be the biggest resistance mounted by the entire trade union movement, rivalling the general strike of 1926, the Suffragettes and Chartism.”

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