London Tube Strike: Hope for end to controversy after Sadiq Khan signals to accept union demands

H.

The road to ending the controversy that led to four tube strikes in three months was widened when Sadiq Khan signaled his acceptance of the union’s demands not to reduce employees’ pensions.

The mayor said he was “not convinced” that the benefits of Transport for London’s “last pay” pension scheme, which cost f 401m last year, needed to be reduced.

No reduction in pensions has been proposed but this is one of the two main concerns – the loss of 600 posts of station staff – which led to the RMT union taking over the London Underground on 1 and 3 March and 6 and 21 June. Forced to close. .

Mr Khan told The Standard on Thursday afternoon when TfL was given a three-week extension in its current government’s epidemic bailout: “I am very clear that I am not convinced. That there is a basis for changing the pensions of these people. Work for TfL. This is a matter for the government to make.

“I am very clear in recognizing the hard work of our transport workers – the thousands of people who run our city – that their terms and conditions should not be changed unilaterally.”

Tory critics sounded the alarm over the mayor’s comments. Keith Prince, a member of the London Assembly, said: “It would be a shame if Sadiq Khan decides to reduce bus routes and other TfL services instead of saving £ 182 million a year by reforming the TfL pension.”

An independent review commissioned by Mr Khan in 2020 called the pension scheme “generous” and said reforming it could save 100 100 million a year by 2025.

But a full review, led by former union head Sir Brendan Barber and published last month, said modifying the scheme could save up to £ 182.4 million – but warned that it would only “increase the salaries of employees”. And the only benefit of the job above and beyond the trip is the privileges “and was highly valued by the staff.

Transport Secretary Grant Shepps on Thursday night approved TfL extending its funding deal to July 13 – but made it clear he wanted to “restore ties” with City Hall. TfL is looking for a مد 900m and a long-term deal on capital investment for the current financial year.

He accused Mr Khan of “intimidation and intimidation”. TfL is consulting on eliminating 22 bus routes in central London and reducing frequency on about 60 others. On Thursday, Mr Khan claimed that TfL 100 bus routes would have to go on strike without a long-term funding agreement and that tube services would be reduced by 10 per cent.

He said this would result in less than one million commuters per day on public transport in the capital, resulting in a “grid lock” on the roads as Londoners returned to their cars, and toxic air. The level will increase.

He accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Chancellor Rishi Sink and Mr Shepps of “insulting Londoners” by failing to secure TfL’s finances. The government has already provided about bn 5bn in bailouts.

Mr Khan also vowed to introduce premium Heathrow fares on the tube and increase deposits on Oyster cards – two cash deposit promises that were made last December but have yet to be implemented.

Mr Khan responded to Mr Shepps in an angry series of tweets last night – despite his promise to “build a bridge” with the government in his second term after being re-elected a year ago.

An official source told The Standard on Friday: “The mayor’s ‘project fear’ is a bad way to build bridges. It is not in his or London’s interest to use TfL services as a political weapon.

Darren Kaplan, chief executive of the Railway Industry Association, said the expansion was the 11th “stop gap” funding settlement between the government and TfL in just two years.

He said: “As long as this cycle of short-term systems lasts, the capital’s transport system will be maintained and built cheaply, and in the future will help not only London’s economy but also the UK as a whole. It will be difficult. “

Adam Tendel, program director of transport at business group London First, said: “Now is the time to put politics aside and prioritize serious negotiations. However, history has shown that a mere 19-day extension is not enough. London is stuck on transport life support.