Tube strikes March 2023: next London Underground drivers’ strike date, TfL routes affected, what Aslef said

Thousands of drivers on TfL services join 24-hour walkout as 99% back action over pay and conditions

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Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that no London Underground services are running as thousands of drivers stage a 24-hour strike.

On Wednesday morning the transport body’s online service tracker was showing the entire Tube network out of action as members the Aslef and RMT unions took industrial action. It also showed that some parts of the Docklands Light Railway and Elizabeth line were also suspended due to the action.

Aslef’s district organiser Finn Brennan said that more strikes were “very likely” to follow unless TfL was willing to negotiate on changes to working conditions for drivers across the network.

He told LBC: “This is actually the first time Aslef have taken action across the Underground since 2015. It comes after our members voted by 99% in favour of the strike.

“It is not a strike about pay, it is not a strike looking for more time off. We simply want TfL to commit to negotiate with us about changes instead of trying to impose changes.

“There is a huge hole in TfL’s budget as a result of the pandemic and they want to fill that by cutting staff numbers, cutting working conditions and crucially cutting staff pensions. We have always said we are prepared to negotiate change but, quite understandably and quite rightly, our members are not prepared to pay the price for the hole that has been left in TfL’s budget by the government’s failure to properly fund public transport in London.”

Buses, trams and most overground trains are running as normal during the strike but TfL has told travellers to expect them to be far busiers and warned that some services may not stop all every station due to the action on the Underground. Travel is also set to be disrupted on Thursday, with Tube services starting late and not returning to normal until the afternoon.

The Aslef/RMT strike coincides with a day of industrial action among civil servants, with around 100,000 set to walk out on the same as Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announces his Budget. Aslef members in other roles on the Underground - including test train and engineering train drivers and some in management grades - will also strike on the same day.

It also comes ahead of four days of strike action across the wider rail network by members of the RMT union. Its staff across train operating companies in England will walkout on 16, 18 and 30 March and 1 April in an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions.

Brennan said that cuts to safety training on the Underground had already been forced through and claimed that there were plans to slash pensions to help plug TfL’s £740 million funding gap. He added: “Unless they are prepared to work with us, and accept that changes have to come by agreement, and bring real benefits to staff, rather than just cuts and cost savings, this will be only the first day of action in a protracted dispute.”