Workers on London’s Elizabeth Line will strike on January 12 over a dispute over pay and pensions, Prospect and the railways union TSSA have announced.
The walkouts for staff at Rail for London (Infrastructure) Limited, which run the Elizabeth line, will be followed by more than a month of ‘work to rule’ action, during which staff will only work hours and shifts.
Officials said the action would cause ‘significant disruption’ to the new line through London in the first strike since it opened in May this year.
The announcement comes just weeks after the full opening of the trans-London line.
London’s Elizabeth Line workers will strike on January 12 in a dispute over wages and pensions
The line was only fully opened a few weeks ago, but unions have rejected a 4% pay rise this year
Union members are set to strike in an ongoing dispute over proposed pay and pension changes after an 80% turnout poll saw 90% of workers vote in favor of strike action.
The Association of Salaried Transport Employees said staff on parts of the line who are contractors were offered an 8.2 per cent pay rise, while those who are directly employed were only offered an 8.2 per cent pay rise. seen offering only 4%.
The union rejected an offer of a 4% raise this year and 4.4% next year.
TSSA organizer Mel Taylor said: “Our members have sent the company a very clear message that they are not ready to be pushed around on pay and pensions.
“The result of our poll shows the strength of feelings and that is why we will act very quickly to call a strike and non-strike action in the new year.
“Frankly, we have had little choice because we know that Rail for London Infrastructure (RfLI) workers are paid far less than their equivalent colleagues on the TfL network.
‘It’s just not enough. Our members have the power to bring the Elizabeth line to a standstill and now the company needs to wake up to this fact and come back to the table.
“We are always open to talks, but only if there is a much improved agreement in sight that puts our members on an equal footing with those in the outsourced parts of the Elizabeth line.”
Mike Clancy, Prospect’s general secretary, said: ‘Our members have worked incredibly hard to get the Elizabeth line ready to operate safely, but they are being treated far worse than equivalent workers on the rest of the London network. They had no choice but to take this action.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, pictured here outside Euston station on December 13, will go on strike from Christmas Eve
“We remain open to negotiation and hope that RfLI will return to the table with a sufficient offer to avoid industrial action.
“The Elizabeth line generates substantial revenue, so there is no reason why there should be no movement on wages.”
The latest announced strike action comes after railway unions declared new strikes over the Christmas period.
Workers on the train for the RMT, run by Mick Lynch, must stop the tools again from 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and will not return to work until 6 a.m. on December 27.
The strike by members of the Railway, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will see some trains stop running as early as 8am on Christmas Eve.
As a result, railway bosses are advising families to leave the day before in some parts of the country if they want to guarantee seeing their loved ones this Christmas.
The last train to London from Edinburgh will depart at 8.00am, while the last service in the opposite direction will depart at 11.00am.
The last train to Newcastle from the capital will leave at 11am, the last service in the other direction at 10.22am. The last London-Liverpool service will be at 12:34 p.m. and the last London-Leeds train at 12:03 p.m.
The last train to Glasgow from London will leave at 12.22pm, the last in the opposite direction at 10.40am. The last London-Manchester service will depart at 12:48 p.m. and London-Birmingham at 1:03 p.m. There will be no direct trains between the capital and Sheffield or Nottingham.
It blows a hole in the claims of RMT boss Mick Lynch, who said his union’s Christmas Eve strike would have no impact on travelers as it didn’t start until 6pm when works engineering begins on many parts of the network.
The RMT has also scheduled further strikes for January – on January 3, 4, 6 and 7, which means services are expected to be brought to a standstill.