Over 1,500 members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed at Transport for London (TfL) and London Underground (LU) are to be balloted for industrial action in a dispute over attacks on their pensions.
Unite’s members have been told that the value of their pensions will be cut and that the final salary scheme will end. The proposal to slash the workers’ pensions follows a central government-demanded review in return for pandemic-recovery funding for TfL.
Ballot papers will be sent out from tomorrow Thursday 21 April and the ballot will close on Thursday 26 May. If members vote in favour of industrial action, strikes could begin by mid-June, although action is likely to be co-ordinated with sister unions who also have members in TfL.
Unite regional officer Simon McCartney said: “Our members are dedicated to keeping London moving. Now they are being told that they will be poorer in old age. This is an appalling way to treat a loyal and committed workforce.
“Workers are balloting for industrial action as a last resort. Despite repeated calls to management there have been no guarantees on pensions or job cuts.
“Strike action would inevitably cause severe disruption to public transport throughout London but this dispute is entirely of TfL and ultimately the government’s own making.”
Unite’s members at TfL are spread across eight different parts of the organisation including Dial-a Ride, London Underground and the Croydon tram scheme.
In addition to the pension issue, workers in different sectors are also being balloted on TfL’s failure to make an acceptable pay offer to its workers for either 2021 or 2022. Some members are also being balloted on TfL’s failure to guarantee there will be no job losses in the organisation.