Merry Christmas everyone: DLR workers set to strike for 24 hours on New Year's Eve

 
Rebecca Smith
Workers will strike on 31 December from 6am for 24 hours
Workers will strike on 31 December from 6am for 24 hours (Source: TfL)

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has announced members employed on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) will strike for 24 hours on New Year's Eve over a breakdown in industrial relations.

Cleaners, security staff and travel safe officers employed by contractor ISS will walk out on 31 December from 6am, with the RMT saying a row had broken out over the failure to hold meaningful pay talks.

Read more: South Western Railway and Greater Anglia face strikes over Christmas

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “We are supporting our members’ strike action in a bid to force management to properly adhere to the agreed negotiating machineries and stop trying to impose fundamental changes to working conditions.

“RMT reps have continually chased management to resolve the dispute but the company are blatantly ignoring the union’s concerns."

ISS said:

We are disappointed that RMT is taking this action on such a key travelling day of the holiday. All of the issues that were being discussed have been resolved and agreed to by the union so we cannot understand why this action has been called.

However, we would welcome positive and transparent discussions before the date of the action to ascertain and resolve their perceived issues.

Our priority now is to minimise the disruption to the travelling public and we will achieve this through using additional resources from other qualified transport teams.

Mark Davis, interim general manager of DLR, said: "This issue is between Keolis Amey Docklands and their cleaning and security staff and will not have an impact on our customers or the DLR service. We urge all parties to sit down and talk through the issues to try and resolve them as soon as possible.”

If the strikes affect service it would form another travel headache in the capital over the festive period, with a hefty batch of upgrade work planned, and strikes planned in separate rows on Greater Anglia and South Western Railway too.

Workers on South Western Railway also strike on New Year's Eve, while a walkout is set for the 27 December on Greater Anglia in rows over the role of the guard.

Network Rail has reminded passengers it is planning bumper work which will mean Paddington has no train services running between 24 December and 27 December, with a reduced timetable between 28 December and 1 January 2018.

The likes of London Bridge, Charing Cross, Cannon Street and Waterloo East will also see closures, while services won't be running between Blackfriars and St Pancras International from 23 December to 1 January while work continues on the Thameslink programme.

Mark Carne, Network Rail's chief executive said: "A number of massively complex and hugely challenging projects are on the home straight. These will bring faster journeys, more comfort and greater reliability to millions of people who rely on the railway.

"Christmas is the quietest period for train travel. Our team, therefore, will be out in force throughout the festive period improving the railway. While we are keeping 95 per cent of the network open, some routes will be affected by our upgrade works. Please make your travel plans before setting off."

Read more: This is going to be the busiest day for flights at Gatwick over Christmas

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