Union announces Tube drivers’ strike for Budget day

London Underground drivers are to strike on the day of the Budget in a dispute over pensions and working arrangements.

The walkout on March 15 follows a vote in favour of industrial action by 99% of members of Aslef on a turnout out of 77% in a ballot.

The union said the dispute is over a failure to accept that changes to working arrangements and pensions should happen by agreement.

Aslef members going on strike include thousands of drivers and some in management grades.

Finn Brennan, Aslef’s full-time organiser on the Underground said: “Our members are not prepared to put up any longer with the threats to their working conditions and pensions.

“We understand that Transport for London faces financial challenges, post-pandemic, but our members are simply not prepared to pay the price for the Government’s failure to properly fund London’s public transport system.

“Cuts to safety training have already been forced through and management is open that they plan to remove all current working agreements under the guise of “modernisation” and “flexibility” and to replace the agreed attendance and discipline policies.

“Proposals to slash pension benefits are due to be announced in the next week.

“We are always prepared to discuss and negotiate on changes, but our members want an unequivocal commitment from TfL that management will not continue to force through detrimental changes without agreement.

“Unless they are prepared to work with us, and accept that changes have to come by agreement, and bring real benefits to staff, rather than just cuts and cost savings, this will be only the first day of action in a protracted dispute.”

Around 100,000 civil servants in the Public and Commercial Services union are also planning to strike on Budget day in a long-running dispute over jobs, pay and pensions.