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Tube Strike sign at Paddington.

London Underground employees organised by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) have had a number of disputes with both London Underground and privatised contractors including Metronet and Tube Lines[1][2] over pay, safety, pensions and job security, leading to travel disruption in the capital.[3] Due to the disruption this causes, the usage of both driverless trains and retired train drivers have been suggested as solutions to keep services running on strike days.[4][5]



Status Start End Participants Motivation Notes
Completed 2009-06-10? 2009-06-11 1859 BST[6][7] ? ? The strike coincided with an England international match.[8]

RMT leader Bob Crow claimed that either the transport commissioner or the Mayor of London blocked an agreement with the RMT on the eve of the strike only 35 minutes after LU management had agreed to it.[9][10]


Completed 2010-09-06 17:00, 21:00[13] 2010-09-07 21:00[13] RMT, TSSA[14] Removal of 800 safety-critical jobs.[13] "RMT are up in arms at TfL's attempts to get volunteers to help people's travel plans."[15] [16] "Boris Bikes part of plans to mitigate effects of London tube strike".[17]
Completed 2010-10-03 18:30[18] ?? RMT ? [16] "With both the Mayor's office and the unions refusing to budge on the need to reduce manpower on the network, and the unions slowly escalating the non-strike action, it looks likely that this will be a long running saga."[18]
Completed 2010-11-02 ?? RMT ? [16]
Completed 2010-11-28 2010-11-29[19] RMT ? [16]
Cancelled 2011-06-19 2011-06-?? RMT "The sacking of Arwyn Thomas, a driver member of the RMT who was dismissed for ‘unacceptable behaviour’ towards a colleague."[20] On 15 June 2011 the RMT announced a strike would begin on 19 June 2011, disrupting the Wimbledon Championships.[21] On 22 June, a tribunal ruled that the sacking was unfair.[22] On 24 June 2011, the strikes were cancelled after London Underground reinstated the Tube driver at the centre of the dispute.[20]
Completed 2014-02-04 2014-02-06 RMT ? Further strikes over TfL's plans to close Underground ticket offices took place in February 2014.[23]
Completed 2014-04-?? 2014-04-?? RMT ? More strikes took place in April/May 2014.[24]

A strike ended 21:00 BST, Wednesday 30 April.[25]

Planned 2014-05-05 18:30 BST (?) 2014-05-08 18:29 BST (?) All "fleet grade" members of the RMT. "[London Underground]’s plans to slash jobs and close ticket offices [..., and] replace skilled workers with unreliable automation in all areas of its work, including train maintenance, engineering, service control and train operation."[26] [27]
Planned 2014-05-05 21:00 BST (?) 2014-05-08 20:59 BST (?) Non-"fleet grade" members of the RMT. as above [26]
Cancelled 2016-12-24 2016-12-25 RMT "The dispute is over tube station staffing and safety. Over 3000 RMT station staff members were balloted for action over the impact on safety from the axing of nearly 900 front-line workers alongside the closure of tube ticket offices. RMT says that the cuts have left safety on a knife edge with the incidents at Canning Town and North Greenwich throwing the spotlight on dangers which are being worsened by the cuts process."[28] 85% voted for strike action and 94% for action short of a strike in the ballot.[29] Called off on 22 December 2016.[30]
Completed 2017-01-08 1800 GMT 2017-01-09 1800 GMT RMT "Our members are out in force across London Underground this morning in the fight for jobs and safety. The strike action is being solidly supported on every line, at every station and on picket lines right across the Tube network.

This action has been forced on us by savage cuts to jobs that have reduced London Underground to an under-staffed death trap at a time of heightened security and safety alert."[31]

In response to the cutting of 900 station jobs.[31]

Public opinionEdit

In two separate polls, the Evening Standard found that a large majority of Londoners were in favour of making it more difficult for Tube workers to strike. In the first poll in 2013, 59% agreed that it was too easy for them to go on strike and 14% disagreed.[32] In the second poll in 2014, 56% were in favour of banning Tube strikes unless 50% of eligible union members voted in favour of a strike.[33] A poll for LBC radio found that 65% of people in London did not support the current tube strikes and 16% said they supported them.[34] Amongst the general population, 46% said the August 2015 strikes were unjustified whereas 19% said they were justified according to a YouGov poll.[35]


The government has proposed to raise the strike threshold so that a strike can only take place if there is a 50% turnout and, in the case of core public services (Health, Education, Transport & Fire Services), if 40% of eligible workers are in favour.[36] This change would make it more difficult for Tube workers to go on strike.


  1. ^ Train drivers' union ASLEF represents London Underground train drivers, and has co-ordinated disputes with the RMT
  2. ^ "England | Second Tube strike hits London". BBC News. 2002-10-02. Retrieved 2014-03-13.
  3. ^ "Tube strike causes travel chaos". BBC News. 2007-09-04. Retrieved 2014-03-13.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "UK | England | London | Tube strike disruption continues". BBC News. 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  7. ^ Dan Milmo, Hélène Mulholland and Dominic Fifield. "Bikes, buses and chaos as tube strike forces London to go overground | UK news". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  8. ^ McNulty, Phil (10 June 2009). "England 6-0 Andorra". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 June 2009. England's fans defied the Tube strike with a superb show of support as almost 58,000 made their way to Wembley.
  9. ^ Ashton, Emily (11 June 2009). "Mayor 'provoked Tube strike'". London: The Independent. Retrieved 11 June 2009.
  10. ^ "Bob Crow on RMT 48-Hour London Underground Strike". RMT. 10 June 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2009.
  11. ^ Hill, Dave (2009-06-11). "RMT and TfL still at odds over who wants talks most urgently | UK news". Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  12. ^ "Negotiations down the tube | Dave Hill | Comment is free". Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  13. ^ a b c "BBC News - London Underground strike causes severe disruption". 2010-09-07. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  14. ^ "Safety row erupts as millions prepare for Tube strike travel chaos » Local Government". 6 September 2010. Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  15. ^ "London Underground Tube Diary - Going Underground's Blog". 2010-09-06. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  16. ^ a b c d "London Underground Recent Strike Date Data - a Freedom of Information request to Transport for London". WhatDoTheyKnow. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  17. ^ Mash Media Group Ltd. "Boris Bikes part of plans to mitigate effects of London tube strike". Exhibition News. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  18. ^ a b "London Underground Tube Diary - Going Underground's Blog". 2010-10-03. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  19. ^ "London Underground Tube Diary - Going Underground's Blog". 2010-11-26. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  20. ^ a b "Tube strikes cancelled as London Underground reinstates unfairly sacked driver | Global Rail News". Retrieved 2014-03-13.
  21. ^ "Tube strikes on as talks break down"[dead link]
  22. ^ "BBC News - Tube strike driver Arwyn Thomas unfairly dismissed". 2011-06-22. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  23. ^ Telegraph,
  24. ^ BBC News,
  25. ^ Tom Edwards (2014-04-30). "BBC News - Tube strike: Disruption continues as strike ends". Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  26. ^ a b "Every Job Matters – Defending Jobs On London Underground". rmt. 2014-05-02. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  27. ^ "Tube strike action next week goes ahead". rmt. 2014-05-02. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  28. ^ "RMT confirms action in tube station staffing dispute - rmt". Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  29. ^ "RMT confirms strike dates in Tube station staffing dispute - rmt". Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  30. ^ "Strike called for Christmas Eve is suspended - rmt". Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  31. ^ a b "Tube staff out in force across the network - rmt". Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  32. ^ "Londoners call for Tube strikes to be outlawed in exclusive poll".
  33. ^ "Londoners back Tube strike rule change, poll reveals".
  34. ^ "Londoners oppose Tube strikes". Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  35. ^ "London Tube Strike".
  36. ^ "Strike changes: what do they mean?". BBC News. 2015-05-27.

External linksEdit