RMT members vote for action at London Underground

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Transport union RMT said its members have voted 94% in favour of strike and action short of a strike at London Underground over jobs, pensions and working conditions. 
RMT members voted for action in a ballot of more than 10,000 members, saying LUL members “were refused assurances on jobs, pensions and working conditions in the midst of an ongoing financial crisis driven by central government”. 

Industrial relations reach a low point

London’s public transport service has been struggling with low passenger numbers since the start of the pandemic and is looking to make changes to staffing and how it operates, which among others has led to ongoing weekend night tube strikes.

“A financial crisis at [London Underground] has been deliberately engineered by the government to drive a cuts agenda which would savage jobs, services, safety and threaten the working conditions and‎ pensions of our members,” said general secretary Mick Lynch.  

Last year, London mayor Sadiq Khan had to ask central government for emergency funding, some of which was granted on condition that there should be a review of TfL's open final salary pension scheme. 

The RMT has previously said it would strike if the pension scheme was changed. The review is ongoing and has so far ruled out a switch to defined contribution. 
Lynch said the ballot has now closed and the union is considering the result and what action to take.  

“It must never be forgotten that these are the same transport staff praised as heroes for carrying London through Covid for nearly two years, often at serious personal risk, who now have no option but to rise up and defend their livelihoods,” he said. “The politicians need to wake up to the fact that transport staff will not pay the price for this cynically engineered crisis, and we will coordinate a campaign of resistance with colleagues from other unions impacted by this threat.”

TSSA, the biggest union in TfL, is also opposed to any cuts.
TfL has been contacted. The Department for Transport declined to comment. 

Should the government give TfL long-term funding to address its problems?

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