Unions demand urgent talks with Sadiq Khan to avert 24-hour Tube strike

Unions demand urgent talks with Sadiq Khan to avert 24-hour Tube strike threatening to shutdown London on Monday as workers return to the office at end of four-day weekend

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch has demanded face-to-face chat with MayorMembers of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union set to walk out on MondayRMT is protesting over job cuts and a ‘looming threat’ to pensions, it said

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Union leaders have demanded face-to-face talks with London Mayor Sadiq Khan in a bid to avert a 24-hour Tube strike.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union are set to walk out on Monday, threatening travel chaos immediately after the Jubilee weekend.

The union is protesting over job cuts and a ‘looming threat’ to pensions.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: ‘We are demanding a direct face to face meeting with Mayor Sadiq Khan to sort this mess out.

‘There’s no point in our union continuing to sit opposite management representatives who have neither the inclination nor the authority to negotiate a settlement, when the power lies with the Mayor.

‘The Mayor of London has tax-raising powers. Just four banks made a profit of £34bn last year and are set to pay out over £4bn in bonuses to London traders. A windfall tax on those profits would more than adequately fund London’s transport network.

‘Mayor Khan must choose either the take on the Tory government and demand a just funding deal for Londoners or attack loyal Tube workers who keep the capital moving day in day out.’

Members of the RMT union are set to walk out for 24 hours on Monday, June 9.  

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch has demanded face-to-face chat with Mayor Sadiq Khan

News there could be strikes on the first day of the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend prompted fury

Workers will also be taking part in ‘action short of a strike’ across next month, including Queen‘s Platinum Jubilee this weekend.

The action, over pensions, jobs and conditions, could see station staff refuse to work overtime or rest days from Friday June 3 to Sunday July 10.

TfL chiefs have warned some services may be affected by this and say short-notice station closures are possible.

Mr Lord, TfL’s chief operating officer, says his team is doing its ‘utmost’ to minimise the impact of the RMT’s ‘frustrating’ strike action.

But his work from home comments have sparked a backlash from Tory councillors in the capital, who say ‘Londoners deserve better’.

GLA Conservatives Transport Spokesman, Nick Rogers AM, said: ‘Andy Lord’s advice to Londoners underlines Sadiq Khan’s failure of leadership on strikes. 

‘Before the Mayoral election in 2016 Sadiq Khan promised Londoners ‘zero days of strikes’ should he become Mayor. 

‘Just over six years later he has presided over more strikes than both his predecessors combined in sixteen years, with no hint of a plan for how he will stand up to militant unions like the RMT. Londoners deserve better.’ 

Commuters wait to get on buses at Liverpool Street during a strike on March 1. A strike by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union is set to bring London to a standstill on Monday, June 6. Pictured: People wait to get on buses at Liverpool Street station in central London during a strike by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union on March 1

It comes after Mr Lord warned of disruption across this weekend and on Monday due to the RMT’s action.

He said: ‘We are doing our utmost to make the Platinum Jubilee weekend one to remember and I can assure our customers we are working hard to minimise the impact of the RMT’s frustrating strike action.

‘Our advice to Londoners and visitors is to check before they make their journeys in case of any short-notice closures.

‘On Monday June 6 we advise anyone who needs to use the Tube to consider whether they are able to work from home and only travel if necessary on this day.

‘We are expecting severe disruption, which will continue into the morning of Tuesday June 7 too.’

Mr Lord also issued an apology to customers, admitting they ‘deserved better’. He urged the union to call off its strike.

He said: ‘I apologise to customers for this and understand they will be frustrated by this strike action but urge them not to take it out on those who are trying to help.

‘We haven’t proposed any changes to pensions, and nobody has or will lose their jobs because of the proposals we have set out.

‘We know our customers deserve better than this and that is why we’re urging the RMT to call off this action and work with us to find a resolution to this dispute, which is threatening London’s recovery from the pandemic.’

TfL said it expects to run a service during the June 3 to July 10 action, including the Platinum Jubilee weekend, and plans to keep all stations open, but advised customers to check before they travel.

The decision to take action across the Jubilee weekend has sparked fury among businesses, including Richard Burge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

He said: ‘We are disappointed to see that the RMT has voted to strike once again, this time at one of the most poignant moments in the history of London and the UK. 

‘We urge TfL and RMT to resolve the dispute and enable businesses, Londoners and tourists to continue with their plans to celebrate this milestone for the Queen and for London.’

The strike action is also likely to cause problems for travellers arriving in the UK via London over the weekend and on Monday – which some experts say will be the busiest day for inbound flights for three years.

The warning comes following chaotic scenes at airports in recent days, including pictures showing air passengers sleeping on terminal floors due to long waits.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, told MailOnline: ‘It’s for travel firms themselves to get themselves in order. Sadly, I think it will get worse because were reaching its peak in a few days,’ Mr Charles said.

‘Monday 6 June scheduled to be the busiest day since 2019, with 2,864 departures from the UK, and the same number of inbound flights – it will be the busiest day since before the pandemic.’ 

Meanwhile, TfL warned of severe disruption across the network from the start of service on Monday June 6 to 8am on Tuesday June 7, with many stations – especially those in the centre of the capital – closed. 

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