The year is shaping up to be one of strike action, as London's commuters face a series of walkouts on the Woolwich Ferry, DLR and the tube.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) union has balloted drivers over a sacked colleague following last December's 24 hour walkout. According to the BBC, if the ballot is successful, we could see strike action in mid-February. RMT general secretary Mick Cash said in a letter to union members:
"Throughout this case, management has failed to listen to us and in turn, has failed to listen to the views and wishes of you and your colleagues as well. Instead of giving fair consideration to defence or mitigation, the Company is determined to sack effective trade union activists. This is becoming an issue across the whole of London Transport and must be resisted by all means at our disposal."
Meanwhile, their DLR-driving brethren are locked in a dispute with operators Keolis/Amey over 'detrimental' changes to members' terms and conditions. The RMT has instructed members not to book on for shifts between 4am on 28 January until 3.59am on Friday 30 January.
On the river, Unite balloted workers on the Woolwich Ferry for strike action over a row with operator Briggs Marine about pay and use of agency staff to cover overtime. Workers unanimously backed a strike. The date for that one hasn't been set, but Unite says if negotiation talks planned for 28 January fail, it could happen in February. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said:
“The decision to take strike action is never easy. Unite has a proud track record of working with employers to resolve disputes and we believe that reaching a negotiated settlement to this dispute makes sense for our members and the company.”
The capital's bus drivers also walked out on 13 January in the most recent of a series of strikes over parity of pay across London's 80 bus operators.