After a massive public transport strike nearly three months ago over pay, a new strike on the London Underground called by several unions opposing a plan to cut costs at Transport for London (TfL) hit millions of users on Thursday. , 10 November.
The oldest metro in the world was almost completely paralyzed on Thursday morning, with most lines at a standstill and some with greatly reduced service. Only the very young Elizabeth Line, inaugurated last May, was operating normally, with only a few stations closed in the heart of the capital.
The London Underground normally carries up to five million passengers a day, but has been rocked by several strikes in recent months. While some Londoners have opted for telecommuting, the practice of which has spread widely since the Covid-19 pandemic, many have fallen back on the bike, the car, but also the buses – many of which were overcrowded on Thursday.
Pensions and wages under attack
The national RMT (Rail, Maritime and Transport) union, which has called for a strike, is particularly opposed to the axing of 600 jobs at Tube stations and to a project by TfL to change its funding of officers’ old-age pensions. to a statement. Burdened by the pandemic, TfL entered into a funding agreement with the government at the end of August, which, however, does not meet the needs of the public operator.
“These attacks [du statut des salariés] are deeply unfair and completely unnecessary”, believes the union, which claims to have made proposals to suspend the strike which were rejected by TfL. According to Sharon Graham, general secretary of the Unite union, which also called for the strike, ‘TfL is unnecessarily attacking our members’ pensions and wages, which Unite simply cannot accept’she said in a statement.
“No proposal has been made to change the pension system or the conditions”assured Glynn Barton, a TfL official, in a statement on Tuesday following the failure of negotiations with the unions.
This strike also comes at a time when Britain is experiencing a spread of social movements in a context of record high inflation and a crisis in the cost of living. On Wednesday, nurses voted for an unprecedented national strike to demand better wages.
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