London faces disruption today (Friday 31 January) as essential TfL workers begin their first 24 hour strike, with further action planned over the coming months, in a fight back against a pay cut in real terms. 

Unite has accused TfL of botching this round of pay talks. The union is warning that unless TfL returns to the negotiating table the dispute could escalate with hundreds more TfL workers at Croydon Trams engineering, Victoria Coach Station and surface operations preparing for strike ballots.

Around 300 workers employed by Dial-a-Ride and 300 TfL revenue protection inspectors, road transport enforcement officers and compliance officers will strike for 24 hours on 31 January, 28 February, 27 March and  24 April.

TfL have bulldozed through a derisory 1 per cent pay increase for TfL workers which amounts to a pay cut in real terms. The workers are demanding that TfL increases pay above inflation (RPI).

Unite regional officer, Simon McCartney said: “The anger of TfL workers is turning into action. They are fighting back against paltry pay. Unless TfL bosses rethink their decision to impose a real terms pay cut the dispute could escalate further.

“TfL managers have backed themselves into a corner by refusing to meet Unite at ACAS. This is a request which is never normally refused by TfL when workers are in dispute. What is clear is that TfL have botched these pay talks and they are trying to cover their tracks by refusing to negotiate, hoping the issue will go away. Instead, Unite is now preparing to ballot  workers at Victoria Coach Station, Croydon Trams engineering and surface operations which could mean up to 1000 TfL workers on strike.”

“Fighting for decent pay, a strong voice and job security is central to Unite’s strategy to win in the workplace. Unite is fully behind TfL workers’ campaign for an above inflation pay increase.”

Dial-a-Ride workers operate from depots including Woodford in north London, Palmers Green, Wimbledon, Wembley and Orpington in Bromley. They provide special needs transport to the elderly, the vulnerable and those with disabilities. 

Revenue protection inspectors, road transport enforcement officers and compliance officers also voted for strike action. Compliance officers work around London’s hot spots for the private hire trade. They ensure passenger safety and deter, detect and prosecute members of the private hire trade who are acting illegally. Revenue inspectors are employed across the network to try to stop fare dodging. Fares evasion on London transport costs the system £100m a year. Revenue inspectors are regularly abused, threatened and have been assaulted while carrying out their duties.

Gareth Powell, TfL managing director of surface transport was paid £305,649, a 10 per cent increase on his previous year’s salary, plus he received performance related pay worth £50,648. Tricia Wright, chief people officer was paid £236,005 plus she received performance related pay of £35,640.

Unite is a union that campaigns for and delivers better pay and conditions for its members. Unite is winning at work based on three core values. Secure Work: fighting for jobs and job security, Strong Voice: a union which is a respected voice at work and Decent Pay: a union focused on pay and conditions.

ENDS

For more information contact Ciaran Naidoo 07768 931 315
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.