London Underground strikes over pension changes suspended

Several strike dates due to take place on the London Underground have been suspended following negotiations about potential reforms of Transport for London’s (TFL) pension scheme.

After a week of negotiations with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) the Aslef Executive Committee and trade union RMT agreed to suspend the planned industrial action on Wednesday 26 and Friday 28 July after receiving confirmation that there would be no change to the pension scheme until 2026.

A central government-demanded review of TFL’s pension arrangements, which is a condition of the 1 June 2021 £1.1 billion funding agreement made by the government for TFL, suggested that the value of members’ pensions would be cut and a final salary scheme ended in return for pandemic-recovery funding. Sir Brendan Barber and pensions expert Joanne Segars have for the past year been leading and facilitating the review, which has involved all recognised trade unions throughout the process.

Finn Brennan, Aslef’s Underground organiser, said: “After a week of intense negotiations, we have made real progress in making sure our members’ working conditions and pensions are protected from the impact of the Tory government cuts to TFL funding. There will be no changes to pension benefits before the next general election. And any future changes to working conditions and agreements will only be made by negotiation. This is a major step forward.”

Mick Lynch, general secretary at RMT, added: “There has been significant progress made by our negotiating team in Acas talks with TFL. Our members were prepared to engage in significant disruptive industrial action and I commend their resolve. RMT’s strike mandate remains live until October and we are prepared to use it if necessary.

”We will continue to negotiate in good faith as we always have done with TFL and it was only the steadfast commitment of our members in being prepared to take sustained strike action that has forced the employer to make significant concessions.”