Transport for London (TfL) has called on the union RMT to cancel the Tube strike on 19 August as walking out will only increase the public body’s financial risks.
“I need to be really clear with you, that taking further industrial action at this time will do nothing but undermine our negotiations with government and simply increase the challenge that we need to meet,” TfL’s director of people and cultural change Fiona Brunskill said in a letter to RMT’s general secretary Mick Lynch.
“I need not spell out the dire consequences for TfL and London Underground if we are unable to secure continued funding.”
The letter was initially leaked to London news website MyLondon.
TfL’s warning comes as the latest talks on long-term government funding dragged on.
Brunskill told Lynch that there are currently no plans to make changes to the pension scheme and that TfL wished for everyone to remain employed “in line with our existing agreement to avoid redundancies.”
No proposal to alter the terms and conditions of agreements were on the table.
“You are asking for assurances that no organisation could ever meaningfully provide, even without the challenges that TfL are trying to address, because no one can be sure what the future may hold,” she added.
Commenting on the letter, Lynch said the RMT was prepared to work with the public body but the strike would go ahead.
“This latest letter from TfL does not address our central demands which is that there should be no job losses, no detrimental changes to pensions
and no imposition of new working conditions,” the general secretary added.
“We are prepared to work with TfL, but our members will not be sacrificial lambs on the altar of austerity.”
The union confirmed yesterday that Tube and Overground strikes, which were called last week, will go ahead on 19 August.
The RMT confirmed that more than 10,000 workers will walk out as part of two different disputes, with Tube employees going on strike over pensions and jobs while Overground staff over pay.
TfL has declined to comment on the letter.