Tube strikes: Dates for walkout by drivers revealed

Tube train

Union bosses have revealed details of a series of Tube strikes due to start in less than two weeks.

Tube drivers voted to strike over the "unfair" sacking of two colleagues, the Rail Maritime and Transport union said.

The union said the first walkout was planned for 16 May, with another five before the end of June.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said the strike would do London no good and warned the move could damage the future of industrial relations in the UK.

He said: "If the unions behave irresponsibly they are simply strengthening the arguments of those who want changes to our industrial relations laws and those who are demanding a higher voting threshold."

'Abusive behaviour'

There have been calls for the law to be changed so a majority of those eligible to vote, rather than those balloted, have to back industrial action before strikes can go ahead.

London Underground (LU) said the drivers were sacked over charges of "abusive behaviour" and "disregarding safety systems"

The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said it expected about 1,500 drivers, who are members of the union, not to turn up for shifts on six periods in May and June.

The walkouts are planned to last for between nine and 24 hours from Monday, 16 May to Friday, 20 May and again from Monday, 13 June to Friday, 17 June.


  • 16 to 17 May: 2101 BST - 1159 BST
  • 18 to 19 May: 1200 BST - 1159 BST
  • 20 May: 1200 BST - 2100 BST
  • 13 to 14 June: 2101 BST - 1159 BST
  • 15 to 16 June: 1200 BST - 1159 BST
  • 17 June: 1200 BST - 2100 BST

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "It is the abject failure of London Underground (LU) to recognise that their policy of victimisation of union activists has been well and truly rumbled... that has left us with no choice but to name these dates for strike action."

He said LU should "accept they have been found out, get these drivers back to work doing the job that they are being paid to do and bring an end to the constant harassment of union activists whose only crime is fighting cuts to jobs and safety".

The RMT said almost two-thirds of its members voted in favour of industrial action over claims Eamon Lynch and Arwyn Thomas were sacked because of their trade union activities.

Both men have taken a case of unfair dismissal to an employment tribunal.

LU said it was "absolute nonsense" to suggest the men were dismissed because of their union activities.

It added that Mr Thomas was dismissed over "abusive behaviour" towards his colleagues and Mr Lynch was sacked because he "over-rode his train's safety systems and drove the train with complete disregard for established procedures".

'Irresponsible and idiotic'

LU managing director Mike Brown said: "Just 29% of the 1,300 drivers balloted voted for this strike.

"The cases concerned are still going through the employment tribunal process and Transport for London will, of course, respond to whatever conclusions are reached in this process."

He said the RMT leadership seemed determined to disrupt London and its economy over several days.

London mayor Boris Johnson said: "Even by the grim standards of the RMT leadership, the series of strikes they are now seeking to inflict on their members and fellow Londoners are unbelievable.

"Most train drivers did not vote for this action, no-one in London will support them, and to pre-empt the results of an industrial tribunal by resorting to industrial confrontation is immoral, irresponsible and idiotic."

Drivers on the Northern and Bakerloo Line held two strikes last year over the dismissals.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    Firstly tube drivers do not earn £45k, secondly there will be alot of tube drivers who are not in the rmt and will be working and trying to keep the service running as best as possible so please if you do use the tube on these days dont give the staff who came to work abuse maybe a little smile it is always appreciated.

  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    I fully support the RMT. We allow management to intimidate union members at our peril, especially in a time of brutal, cynical right wing government. I also welcome any excuse to get into work late

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    As these strikes will affect me as a london worker, i think i should have the right to find out exactly why the 2 drivers were binned. come on rmt, you want the strike, so you tell me the official verison of what happened. dont care if you add your spin to it, i want to know why my travel is being disrupted.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    If they want to hit TfL and keep the support of the public, try opening the barriers for a day.
    Instead these work-shy unionists prefer to create havoc and alienate the public. To top it off, they will be enjoying their extra holiday on the day of my medical finals - thanks guys.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Can those people who normally take the tube but will be walking on strike days please remember not to step into the road without looking. Last time there was a tube strike I got knocked into the side of a bus. (cyclist).


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