Will there be London Overground rail strikes in March?

The RMT’s boss, Mick Lynch, says members have been been offered a below inflation pay rise (Transport for London)
The RMT’s boss, Mick Lynch, says members have been been offered a below inflation pay rise (Transport for London)

Strikes planned on the London Overground on Monday March 4 and Tuesday March 5 have now been called off.

TFL confirmed that normal services will run on these dates, after walkouts were expected to cause widespread disruption and station closures.

As a result of the latest breakthrough, there are now no further London overground strikes planned.

The last strike action, which was planned for Monday February 19 and Tuesday February 20 by members of the RMT union working for Arriva Rail London, was also called off, after the union announced progress had been made on pay discussions.

Speaking earlier this month, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "London Overground members working for Arriva Rail London have made progress through their determination to take strike action.”

In the case of future industrial action, customers are always advised to check their journey before they travel.

Why have RMT members been striking?

The strikes, which have now been called off, were announced on January 30 by the RMT. Mr Lynch said his members were furious they had been given a "below inflation pay offer".

Arriva Rail London (ARL), which holds the contract to run London Overground services, said it had offered a "good pay award".

"We believe we have offered a good pay award in comparison not only to our industry but other industries and businesses in the UK too,” Steve Best, managing director at Arriva Rail London, told the BBC. “We remain committed to engaging with the RMT in the hope of resolving this dispute," he said.

Mr Best added that Arriva would work on “contingency plans” in preparation for the strikes.

The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, said he hoped the strikes can be averted, telling the Standard: "I’m always keen to encourage TfL [Transport for London] to sit down with those that represent hard-working staff to resolve these things amicably.”

The RMT said that ARL, which has the contract for London Overground, has offered a below inflation pay offer. Union members overwhelmingly voted for action in response.

Mr Lynch said: “London Overground workers do an important job delivering services for Transport for London and supporting passengers on journeys throughout London. Our members are furious that they have been given a below inflation pay offer and want to see an improvement that represents the value they bring to the company.

“If this dispute cannot be resolved, then RMT is more than prepared for a sustained period of industrial action to get London Overground workers the pay rise they deserve.”