No sooner does one strike end but another begins. On Friday, it will be the turn of rail passengers at mainline stations to face disruption from industrial action by transport unions.
1,500 staff from the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA), the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) and Unite unions will walk out for 24 hours from 7am in a dispute with TfL over pay and pensions. Fortunately for commuters, the striking staff will mainly be at TfL's headquarters so we we hope the kind of travel chaos seen last week will be avoided. The strike will affect mainline travel centres and customer call centres, among other services, such as spot checks on illegal taxi touts.
TSSA leader Manuel Cortes criticised London mayor Boris Johnson over TfL's proposed pay freeze and pension cuts:
"Needless to say the suggested pay freeze and cuts to final salary pensions do not apply to senior managers at TfL like Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy who last year took home over £650,000. It is junior managers and supervisors doing vital work to keep London moving that are facing this cut in their living standards. Clearly, we are not all in this together, as the Mayor keeps saying."
The 72 hour strike planned for this week was averted after London Underground (LU) and the RMT came to an agreement over station reviews which, curiously, didn't include the whole raison d'être for the strikes — ticket office closures — so we can probably expect further strike action.
Photo by Jan Rockar in the Londonist Flickr pool.