Business chiefs have warned that rail strikes set to take place in next week will deal another “hammer blow” to trade in the capital as the cost of rail strikes on City businesses continues to rise.
Staff at Transport for London (TFL), represented by the RMT union, are set to strike on Wednesday 4th and Friday 6th of October, triggering thousands of tube cancellations and limiting people’s access to central London during the working week.
The midweek strike will also coincide with a walkout from hundreds of train staff, backed by the Aslef union, further limiting people’s access into London.
Both unions have been striking since last winter in a bitter dispute over regarding pay and working conditions.
Kate Nicholls, chief of UKHospitality, warned that businesses, workers and consumers are all losing out as the dispute continues.
She told City A.M.: “Strike disruption over the past year has already cost the hospitality sector £3.5bn in lost sales and there is no doubt that figure will increase as a result of further strike days.”
“Sectors like hospitality continue to be collateral damage in this dispute and I would urge all parties to reach a resolution to avoid further damage to the economy,” she said.
Adam Tyndall, programme director for transport at lobby group BusinessLDN, said with the Christmas season fast approaching, “the hospitality and retail sectors in particular will not want strikes to dampen festivities once again”.
“We urge both sides to get around the table and reach an agreement so businesses and Londoners can plan for the future with confidence,” he said.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch, told City A.M on Tuesday:”We are striking to ensure that the tube is staffed safely and properly. We are not targeting the hospitality sector.
“Station staff have had enough of having their livelihoods threatened by job losses and attacks on their terms and conditions. They have a vital role to play assisting vulnerable passengers to access the network safely and ensuring that the tube is a safe environment for all passengers.
He added: “These job cuts and attacks on conditions are going to lead to more unstaffed stations, temporary closures and rising passenger anger.”TfL has had its budgets slashed but the savings made by these station staff cuts will be negatable and will lead to shortages that are unacceptable.
“This strike action will lead to the tube being shutdown and we call on Mayor Sadiq Khan to meet us urgently to discuss this matter.”
City A.M. has contacted the Department of Transport for comment.