Published on : Friday, February 21, 2020
A strike on London Underground’s Bakerloo line starts today. Bakerloo line drivers who are members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will walk out from noon on Friday 21 February for 24 hours, and again from noon on Sunday 23 February.
The row centres on “unworkable” changes to the timetable, due to start next month, that places drivers under intolerable levels of personal stress, said RMT. RMT also said it had made “intensive efforts” to negotiate a deal with London Underground, but that talks had been unsuccessful. The union said it would be available for talks at Acas, the conciliation service.
Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said that the union was “angry and frustrated” that a solution hadn’t been found and the strike would go ahead. The drivers voted overwhelmingly for action in this dispute which is all about the management imposing timetable changes on the Bakerloo line without any serious recognition of the stress impact on the operators expected to implement them.
The bottom line is that you cannot place intolerable stress and pressure on tube drivers that impacts on their safety-critical role and that is what this dispute is all about. The union remains available for talks.
Nick Dent, London Underground’s director of line operations, said that they apologise to their customers for the unnecessary disruption this strike could cause, and will keep them informed as we continue to try to resolve the dispute this week. They met with the unions last week to outline the steps we have taken already and to talk through their concerns so that they can move forwards. He would urge the RMT to continue working collaboratively with us to resolve these issues.
London Underground said stations including Oxford Circus, Waterloo, Piccadilly Circus and Embankment would be busier than usual. It advised that passengers should complete journeys on the Bakerloo line by 10am on Friday, and that there is likely to be “little or no service” until Monday evening, with delays to any services that are operating.
In addition to the strike, there is engineering works on several other Tube lines this weekend. The Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines will be closed in central London to test a new signalling system. Meanwhile, the Northern Line will be shut between Kennington and Moorgate for work on the Bank Station upgrade, and there is also part closure on TfL rail.