Workers on the Elizabeth line overwhelmingly decide to strike over pay
Workers on the Elizabeth line will go on strike for the first time after union members overwhelmingly supported it in a salary dispute. The 94% of Prospect at Rail for London Infrastructure members voted in favour of leaving the company after rejecting a wage raise of 4% that they deemed to be below inflation. Around 92% of the union members voted in favour of engaging in additional types of industrial action. On the Elizabeth line, 75 members of Prospect are employed.
They might not be the only union to go on strike either. Previously, the TSSA [Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association] union claimed that supervisors on the line, which has seen 70 million trips since it opened on May 24, are paid “substantially less” than those in comparable roles. The TSSA will end voting on December 22 after continuing to engage with members. Prospect hasn’t specified the dates that strikes might be held or the other types of industrial action they might conduct.
“Our members have worked tremendously hard to get the Elizabeth line ready to go into operation safely, yet they are being treated much worse than identical employees on the rest of London’s network,” said Mike Clancy, the union’s general secretary. “There certainly ought to be leeway for some movement on pay as the Elizabeth line itself is currently bringing in significant additional passenger money for Transport for London and is underspending on its budget. Although their pay is so far behind inflation that they are unable to keep up, our members must go on strike.
The union is “open to talks,” he continued, and he expressed his desire for a “offer sufficient to prevent industrial action.” A response from Transport for London has been requested. It had earlier claimed to have awarded managers raises of 4% for 2022 and 4.44% for 2023. During this year’s RMT Tube strikes, the Elizabeth line saved thousands of Londoners. During nationwide rail strikes, it had also managed to keep running, albeit with fewer services. Strikes are terrible news for everyone, and we ask TSSA to cooperate with us and prevent this industrial action, according to Howard Smith, director of the Elizabeth line, in a prior statement regarding the TSSA ballot.