RMT calls on Sadiq Khan to avoid TfL pension cuts

The Rail and Maritime Transport (RMT) union has called on the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to avoid making “detrimental cuts” to tube workers’ pension schemes amid ongoing strike action, although Transport for London (TfL) has said no proposals have been tabled.

The comments were made amid the strike action held this week in the capital, with the union suggesting that the mayor could submit proposals to the government to cut tube workers’ pensions by 31 March in an effort to drive down costs.

This was based on a Department for Transport announcement on TfL's latest extraordinary funding and financing settlement, which will run until 24 June 2022.

As part of the funding settlement, the mayor has confirmed plans to consult on options to raise between £500m and £1bn of additional yearly revenue from 2023.

In addition to this, Khan is expected to consult on options to achieve operating cost savings of up to £400m in 2022 to 2023 and make “significant progress in moving the pension fund into a financially sustainable position”.

In light of this, RMT general secretary, Mick Lynch, commented: “Sadiq Khan should be standing up to Tory ministers who want to needlessly attack jobs, pensions and conditions of key transport workers.

"It is this political failure that has left tube workers with no choice but to strike this week. Our members have been left paying the price for a turf war between City Hall and the government and they are not having it as can be seen right across London today.

“The mayor knows the plan to attack our members’ pensions and conditions is wrong and would leave our union no choice but to take industrial action.

"However, only last week the mayor agreed to submit proposals to the government that will result in detrimental changes to pensions.

"The mayor has to decide if he is on the side of key workers who have kept London moving during the pandemic or Tory ministers hellbent on punishing tube workers.

"This dispute can be solved if the mayor meets the reasonable demands of his own workforce."

Commenting on the strike action, Khan said: “Londoners are today facing yet another day of very severe disruption due to strike action, after experiencing periods of no tube service at all already this week.

"It’s really disappointing RMT are continuing with this action which is a huge blow to businesses that are trying to recover after being devastated by the pandemic.

“TfL have tried to mitigate the impact of the RMT strikes but there is likely to be no service across the tube network today, so we are asking Londoners to check before they make their journey, consider whether they are able to work from home and use alternative modes of transport where possible.

“This action is causing misery for Londoners and businesses alike and damaging TfL at the worst possible time. It’s gone ahead despite there being no job losses, and no changes to pensions or conditions. I urge the RMT to come to the table and work with TfL.”

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