The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) has announced it will join the RMT, ASLEF and Unite unions in a planned 24 hour strike on 5 August.
The three transports unions rejected LU’s previous offer of a £500 bonus for all staff, a 2% pay rise and a £2,000 bonus for drivers on lines which will get night tube services. The breakdown in talks led to a 24 hour walkout on Wednesday evening, leaving London with no tube services at all.
London mayor Boris Johnson’s oft-expressed desire to make it much harder for unions to go on strike looks it could be finally on the cards – the Conservatives have announced plans which could make strikes unlawful if not enough votes are received from members balloted.
The thing about the tube strike is that when asked, the vast majority of people would probably support their reasons for striking. No-one could reasonably expect an employer to be able to suddenly demand that you worked evenings and weekends for little extra pay or time off in lieu. Sure, times are tough and we all have to knuckle down et cetera but that doesn’t give employers carte blanche to impose new working terms on people without consultation. No, the problem is that it’s a bit of a case of the boy who cried wolf. The transport unions have threatened strike action so regularly that the general public, who might have actually supported their reasons for walking out over something big like this, just see it as yet another strike.
The unions and LU are continuing to meet over the ACAS negotiating table, so it remains to be seen if they can pull something out of the bag to avert future strikes. The proposed walkout is planned to start at 9.30pm on Wednesday 5 August.