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39% average union vote for strikes to go ahead –

Calls for shorter working week and triple pay lead to 30 strikes over six year period – costing London over £1bn

Strikes on London’s public transport are going ahead with small minorities of the workforce voting in favour of industrial action.

Strikes on the London Overground this bank holiday weekend (25th – 26th August) have been initiated by just 43% of train guards voting in favour.

Shockingly, this is a relatively strong turnout when compared with new figures which show tube strikes went ahead with an average of just 39% of the ‘yes vote’ over a six year period (2005-2011)*, with some successful ballots having a vote as low as 20%. The six year period has seen 30 strikes with reasons including calls for a shorter working week and triple pay on Boxing Day.

Richard Tracey, GLA Conservatives Transport spokesman said: 

“It is absurd that tens of thousands of passengers could face delays and disruption on the London Overground this bank holiday weekend because 43% of train guards – a mere 53 workers – have opted for strike action. TfL and the Mayor need to begin to think differently about staff strikes to prevent further passenger delays and lost revenues to the London economy. If London had introduced 50%+1 back in 2005 – which requires a majority of all eligible trade union members having to vote ‘yes’ for strike action to go ahead – there would have been 4 days of strikes rather than 30 days. Considering that the average tube strike costs £48 million a day – avoiding the 26 days could have saved London over a billion pounds”



*39% refers to percentage of balloted staff

  • Richard Tracey’s report: ‘Struck Out: Reforming London Underground’s strike laws’ includes a detailed explanation of how London can avoid future strike action on Transport while keeping workers’ needs at the forefront. The report recommends a complete ban on TfL staff strikes, replaced with a 50%+1 ‘yes vote’ to initiate ‘binding pendulum arbitration’. This arbitration uses an independent judge or panel to choose between the competing positions of the trade union and TfL with no compromise. The report can be found at: