Week of strike chaos on the Tube in New Year as RMT announces details of London Underground walkout

Seven days of rolling strikes planned for early January that are set to bring misery to commuters
The RMT said hundreds of jobs are set to be axed, affecting Tube stations and maintenance (Jonathan Brady/PA)
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London Underground workers will strike over a week in early January bringing New Year chaos to the Tube network.

Members of the RMT union on the London Underground will walk out on January 5 with strike action taking place until January 12, according to an update to members on the union's website posted on Thursday night.

The strike details were confirmed by RMT leader Mick Lynch in a statement on Friday morning.

Different workforces will strike on different days, in action intended to cripple the network across a sustained period without all workers needing to walk out - and lose pay - at the same time.

Strikes will begin at 6pm on January 5, with Engineering Vehicles Operations and Maintenance workers walking out until 5.59pm on Saturday January 6. This is expected to cause the cancellation of planned maintenance works.

Track Access, Power Control, and Control Centre workers will strike on January 7 to 8, with Service Control workers striking on January 9 and January 11.

All other London Underground staff will strike on Monday January 8 and Wednesday January 10 - when commuters will be worst hit.

These two weekdays will be the worst affected by the strike action, with the Tube brought to a standstill as most stations will have too few staff to be able to open.  

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said in the update to members: “On Friday last week, before the ballot had even closed, LUL advised us that it was ignoring any of your wishes and that the pay offer would be imposed in January. 

“This has understandably been met with a furious response from you and your colleagues and your Reps have reported overwhelming support for a significant and immediate response.

“I urge you to support the strike action to demand an improved offer that addresses the inflation of pay bands and protects the lower paid grades.”

Mr Lynch, in a statement on Friday, rounded on TfL bosses who he said were "raking it in" at a time frontline staff were being offered "modest below inflation offers".

He said: "The refusal of TfL to restore staff travel facilities and create a two-tier workforce is also unacceptable.

"Our members have made it clear that they are prepared to take action and we urge TfL to improve their offer to avert disruption in the capital."

The Standard revealed earlier this week that RMT members had overwhelmingly rejected a five per cent pay offer from Transport for London. The union voted 90.5 per cent in favour of taking strike action in a bid to win a better deal, it was revealed on Tuesday afternoon.

A total of 5,334 of 9,723 RMT members took part in the ballot, with 4,827 voting yes to strike action and 505 no.

The strike action represents a major blow to Mayor Sadiq Khan, after a “ceasefire” had broken out between TfL and the unions earlier this year when strikes over pensions and station staffing were called off at the 11th hour.

It is still possible the strike action could be called off. Transport Secretary Mark Harper urged Mr Khan to use new "minimum service level" laws to keep the Tube open during the strikes.

But the mayor said the legislation was "not fit for purpose" - suggesting that not enough station staff would be present to meet fire safety regulations.

A TfL spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that RMT has announced strike action based on our full and final pay offer.

"We have been clear throughout our productive discussions with our trade unions that this offer is the most we can afford whilst ensuring that we can operate safely, reliably and sustainably.

"We encourage the RMT to engage with us to avoid disruption for Londoners at the start of next year."