Dozens of TSSA members working on London’s Elizabeth Line will take strike action tomorrow (Thursday 12 January) bringing the central section of the line to a halt, with reduced services on other sections.
This marks the first industrial action on the flagship Transport for London (TfL) line since it opened in May 2022 and is taking place in a dispute over pay and proposed changes to pensions.
TSSA members working for Rail for London (Infrastructure) Limited (RfLI) voted by nine to one in favour of strike action in a ballot held late last year after talks failed at the arbitration service, ACAS.
Direct talks with RfLI have again taken place on several days this week but the strike, as well as action short of a strike (ASOS), will go ahead in the continuing absence of a deal, or a firm offer which meets our aspirations for members.
TfL has said the 24-hour walkout will halt all trains running between Paddington and Abbey Wood, while there will be a skeleton service on the eastern and western sections of the line. TSSA members will be on picket lines on Thursday at Paddington (11:30-12:30) and Romford (from 6:30) -see notes.
In addition ASOS (effectively comprising a ‘work to rule’) will run from 12 January to 28 February 2023.
TSSA members work in essential roles, including Traffic Managers, Service and Infrastructure, and Incident Response Manager grades.
Commenting, TSSA Organiser, Mel Taylor said: “Our members are rightly taking this action because they are not prepared to be pushed around on pay and pensions.
“We know workers at Rail for London Infrastructure (RfLI) are being paid significantly less than equivalent colleagues across the TfL network and that is simply not acceptable.
“Our members have the power to bring the Elizabeth Line to a standstill and that is exactly what will happen as a result of this strike and the lack of a serious offer from TfL.
“The company needs to understand we are serious. Our members are determined to get the fair deal they deserve having not seen an annual pay increase for almost three years. An improved offer which addresses the scandalous disparity in pay is the way to resolve this dispute.”
*TSSA members on the Elizabeth Line working for Rail for London (Infrastructure) Limited have had no annual pay rise for almost three years. For 2022 and 2023 the offer was just 4 per cent despite inflation running at 11 per cent.
*TSSA members’ work is essential for safety on the Elizabeth Line. But their pay is significantly lower than equivalents across the TfL network. Workers doing similar jobs in the outsourced parts of the Elizabeth Line received 8.2 per cent this year and Docklands Light Railway (DLR) 9.25 per cent.
*TSSA members have already rejected a 4 per cent for this year and 4.4 per cent for next year.
*Industrial action follows a successful ballot which closed on the 22 December, in which members voted 90 per cent in favour of strike action and 95 per cent in favour of action short of strike on an 80 per cent turnout – comfortably passing the legal threshold required for industrial action.
*TSSA will be picketing at: Romford ROC (adjacent to Romford Railway Station) from 06:30 to 07:30 and 14:30 to 15:30. Paddington Station from 11:30 to 12:30
*ASOS - the types of industrial action short of a strike that will be taken are:
- working only contracted hours
- taking of all contractual break entitlements
- ban on out of hours work communication
- ban on undertaking contingency duties arising from industrial action
- no covering of duties and tasks of other roles/grades
- removal of good will