When are London Tube, rail and bus workers striking in December?

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) last week announced more strikes in December and January, which will disrupt the services of Network Rail and 14 train companies in the run-up to Christmas.

Furthermore, London bus drivers have announced a series of strikes before Christmas following earlier disruption in the capital and the UK, while the RMT voted for a further six months of industrial action.

Find out below when the union members are striking and how this will affect getting around London.

When are the rail strikes?

The RMT announced on November 22 that 40,000 members across Network Rail and 14 train companies would strike on December 13, 14, 16 and 17 and on January 3, 4, 6 and 7.

There will also be an overtime ban from December 18 until January 2, which means the union will be striking for four weeks.

The RMT said operators had refused to make their “promised written proposals” in the continuing dispute over jobs, terms and conditions and pay.

When are the London bus strikes?

London bus workers will strike on on December 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17.

Members of Unite, employed by the Dutch public transport company Abellio in south and west London, will strike in a dispute over pay. This will affect drivers based in Battersea, Beddington, Hayes, Southall, Twickenham, and Walworth.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Abellio is a vastly wealthy multinational company that could and should be paying its workers a fair pay increase. With workers struggling to cope with rampant inflation, Abellio’s failure to even enter into meaningful pay talks is cold-hearted and callous.

“Unite is now entirely focused on defending and enhancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members, and the bus drivers at Abellio will be receiving the union’s complete support.”

When are the Tube stations strikes?

Following months of strikes, with the last one taking place on Friday, November 25, 2022, it seems likely that there will be more in the coming weeks.

However, specific dates have not yet been revealed.

What is the rail dispute about?

There are multiple disputes involving different employers, including Network Rail and more than a dozen train operators.

  • RMT, the main rail union

  • Aslef, representing train drivers

  • TSSA, the union for white-collar staff in the transport industry

  • Unite, representing some grades of train operators

What has been said about the strikes?

Tim Shoveller, Network Rail’s chief negotiator, said: “A two-year eight per cent deal, with discounted travel and a new extended job guarantee to January 2025, is on the table ready to be put to our staff. Unfortunately, the leadership of the RMT seems intent on more damaging strikes rather than giving their members a vote on our offer.

“Me and my team remain available for serious talks and continue to negotiate in good faith. Our sector has a £2 billion hole in its budget, with many fewer passengers using our services. That reality is not going to change any time soon, and a fair and affordable and improved deal is on the table, ready to be implemented if our people were only offered the opportunity.”

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “This is incredibly disappointing. Through no fault of their own, millions of people will once again have their day-to-day lives disrupted and be unable to attend work, school, or vital doctors’ appointments.

“Our railway is in desperate need of modernisation but all more strikes will do is take it back to the dark ages and push passengers further away.

“We urge union bosses to reconsider this divisive action and instead work with employers, not against them, to agree a new way forward.”

The general secretary of Aslef, Mick Whelan, told the Independent: “What we need is for the Government to take the shackles off the privateers. The privateers have entered into a contract [with the Government] not to offer more than two per cent on pay. When we talk to the Government, they tell us to go and talk to the people we work for.

“Everybody we work for is paying out to their shareholders. Everybody we work for is turning over hundreds of millions of pounds out of the taxpayer. Yet the people that are generating that money, all railway workers and train drivers, are not getting their share.”

Asked when the strikes might end, he said: “It ends when someone talks to us.”