Elizabeth line strike: When is it and how long will it last?

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Workers on Transport for London’s Elizabeth line have announced fresh strike action.

This comes a week after the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and Aslef union members walked out, causing disruption to London’s public transport system.

The new walkout will affect London’s newest transport line for the first time.

So when will the strike on the Elizabeth line take place and why are employees striking?

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When is the Elizabeth line strike?

This will take place on Thursday, January 12.

Furthermore, “action short of a strike” (effectively comprising a ‘work to rule’ instruction to work only contracted hours, take breaks, and not provide contingency cover), will take place from January 12 until February 28.

During that period, trains will still be running, but there will be some restrictions on services.

TfL says if the strike goes ahead as planned, there will be no service on the central section of the Elizabeth line (Paddington-Abbey Wood).

East and west services will run from/to National Rail platforms at Liverpool Street and Paddington, with services subject to alteration and short notice cancellation.

On Friday, January 13, there will be no service between Abbey Wood and Paddington until around 7.30am, with a good service expected from 9am onwards.

Travel unions have warned of significant disruption to the TfL line. The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) said walkouts were “highly likely to bring the Elizabeth line to a halt”.

Trains were running in three sections: between Liverpool Street and Shenfield (not stopping at Whitechapel), from Abbey Wood to Paddington, and between Paddington and Heathrow/Reading.

The number of trains on the line is also being reduced significantly. There will be only two trains an hour in some sections, and services will be largely limited to between 7.30am and 5.30pm.

Workers and employees on the Elizabeth line voted overwhelmingly (94 per cent) in favour of strikes.

The Prospect union, whose members are also involved in the strike, said: “It is likely that strike action will cause significant disruption to the line, and potentially the cancellation of all services.”

Why are workers on the Elizabeth line striking?

A strike ballot closed on December 22, with unions rejecting a four per cent pay rise.

Staff on the Elizabeth line claim they are being paid far less than their colleagues on other TfL lines. They therefore believe a strike seems the only conclusion to pay disputes.

Mel Taylor, the TSSA organiser, said the union’s members were showing that “they are not prepared to be pushed around on pay and pensions”.

“Frankly, we have been left with little option because we know workers at Rail for London Infrastructure are being paid significantly less than equivalent colleagues across the TfL network,” she added.

“That is simply not good enough. Our members have the power to bring the Elizabeth line to a standstill and the company must now wake up to that fact and get back round the table.”

For more information on strike action and how it may affect you, visit the TfL website.