Strike action on both Greater Anglia and the London Underground is set to cause chaos for Essex commuters travelling into and around the capital.
Rail union RMT members announced that on Thursday, October 5, strikes on Greater Anglia services will continue over the potential extension of the ‘Driver Only Operation’, which they believe is a clear threat to passenger safety.
And if that wasn’t enough, tube union Aslef announced its drivers will stage a 24-hour walkout on the same day.
They say that Transport of London have failed to implement a programme that would allow drivers to work four-day weeks and work fewer weekends.
Although it is unclear which specific lines will be affected, it is likely that London Liverpool Street, a station that connects Essex commuters into the city, will be impacted.
The Greater Anglia strikes will take place between Tuesday, October 3 and October 5.
Members are set to strike between 12.01am and 11.59pm.
As for London Underground workers, they are striking on October 5 for a full 24-hour period.
Only the trains with conductors are set to strike.
Luckily, these do not largely affect Essex, however Clacton to Colchester-bound passengers will be affected.
The full list of Greater Anglia trains that use conductors are:
Norwich to London intercity service,
Norwich to Sheringham, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft;
Ipswich to Felixstowe and Lowestoft
Norwich and Ipswich to Cambridge
Sudbury to Marks Tey,
Clacton to Colchester
Harwich to Colchester
The Abellio network are staging the walkout to protest a lack of job security after the rise in the number of driverless trains being used on the service.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “Greater Anglia have been given every opportunity to give a guarantee on the future of the guard on their services.
“They have failed to do so and that left us with no alternative but to move to a ballot in the interests of rail safety.”
The drivers vote was two to one for strike action on a 75 per cent turn out.
Mr Cash added: “Our members voted by massive majorities for action but the company have ignored that and have failed to seize the opportunity to give us the very simple assurances on the future of the guards, and the guarantee of a second safety critical member of staff on current services.
“That failure leaves us no option but to move to strike action.
“The union remains available for further talks around the crucial issue of the guard guarantee.”
Aslef members voted by an 88 per cent margin to take strike action in their dispute over the failure on commitments made by London Underground in 2015 to improve work and life balance.
Tube workers are campaigning for fairer working hours and more weekends off.
Finn Brennan, Aslef’s organiser on London Underground, said: “Our members’ patience has finally been exhausted and our executive committee has announced strike action.
“As always, we are ready to meet at any time to try to find a solution, but it is long past time that LU management started to act to resolve this long running dispute.”
How can I avoid it?
Greater Anglia bosses have yet to announce how they will help with the strain of the strike, however they have reassured passengers that a contingency plan will be put in place.
After the announcement on Tuesday (September 20), Richard Dean, Train Service Delivery Director of Greater Anglia said: “We are obviously disappointed with the announcement today.
“We’re keen to talk to the RMT to try and resolve the issues involved and to avert industrial action.
“In the even of industrial action going ahead on Tuesday 3 October and Thursday 5 October, we’d like to reassure customers that we have contingency plans in place and intend to run a full service.
“We value you our conductors highly and we have guaranteed their jobs until the end of the franchise in October 2025.
“In fact, we will be recruiting additional conductors, as we are replacing all of our trains with brand new trains from 2019, which will enable us to run more services.”
Source: Essex Live