London Underground strike over pensions set for August 19

London Underground strike over pensions set for August 19

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers has confirmed that its London Underground members will carry out a 24-hour strike on August 19 over a pensions dispute.

The RMT first mooted an August tube strike in July, in response to an alleged refusal by Transport for London to share details of a government funding proposal for London transport.

On August 2, the union said that it had given TfL until that date to give assurances that there would be “no detrimental changes to our pensions”.

“LUL and TfL management have consistently refused to engage in discussions around safeguarding jobs, pensions and conditions on the spurious grounds that they are unable to give any assurances to our members until they have a financial settlement with the government,” the union said.

TfL pensions are currently under scrutiny as part of an overall review of how the organisation is funded. Sir Brendan Barber’s independent review of TfL’s pension arrangements began after the transport authority and central government agreed a bailout in June 2021. 

The report admitted that changes to the scheme would impact benefits and pay elsewhere, and affect TfL’s ability to recruit and retain staff.

London Underground staff last went on strike over pensions on June 21. A separate strike on London Overground will also take place on August 19, as part of a dispute over the pay of London Overground workers employed by Arriva Rail London. 

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “This strike action by our members on LU and the Overground is yet another demonstration of how transport workers refuse to accept a raw deal.

“TfL have had ample opportunity to be transparent about the funding they will receive and to give tube workers the assurances they need. Yet they have totally failed to give those guarantees.

“There will be significant disruption on the 19th August but TfL and Arriva Rail London bear responsibility for this breakdown in industrial relations.”

In a letter written to Lynch by TfL management in response to a letter sent on July 28, first reported by MyLondon, the RMT leader was told: "There are no plans to make changes to the pension scheme. If, in the future, any proposals are made, they would be subject to extensive consultation with the trade unions."

TfL has been contacted for comment.

Alex Janiaud is deputy editor at Pensions Expert, FTAdviser's sister publication