Upcoming strikes: Who is striking and when

Image above: Teacher strike in London pre-pandemic; library image

Trade Union Congress propose national ‘Defend the Right to Strike’ day

Strikes are planned by various groups of public sector workers throughout the remainder of January and into the beginning of February, with rail, bus, civil, health and education services in London set to be impacted.

As the cost of living continues to bite with inflation still high, workers want their pay packets increased in line with inflation, and some also have specific grievances over pensions and working conditions.

Unions say the Government is refusing to engage into meaningful talks with unions to resolve the many ongoing disputes, and are instead hoping to push anti-strike legislation through Parliament. The Government argues this legislation is necessary to restrain unions and thus maintain minimum levels of service for the public, protecting public safety.

In response to the Government’s proposals, the Trade Union Congress has announced a national ‘Defend the Right to Strike’ day on 1 February, so many strikes coincide on that day. Rallies and other events are also planned around the country in opposition to the Conservatives’ anti-strike laws. Critics of the Government blame industrial action on what they describe as decades of deliberate underfunding of public services pushed to breaking point.

See below how the strikes are expected to affect London and Chiswick.

Image above: an Abellio bus; library image

Bus strikes

There are strikes planned on Abellio bus services on 25 & 26 January. On strike days, TfL say aim to run as many services as possible, but disruption is expected.

Most routes which are affected are in south and west London. Other services not affected by strikes will be busier than normal.

On the days after strikes, a good service will be running by approximately 6.00am, say TfL.

Routes affected

  • Day routes affected: 3, 27, 45, 63, 68, 109, 130, 156, 195, 196, 201, 207, 267, 270, 278, 315, 322, 350, 367, 381, 407, 415, 427, 433, 464, 482, 490, 969, C10, E5, E7, E10, E11, H20, H25, H28, H26, P5, P13, R68, R70, S4, U5, U7, U9
  • 24-hour routes affected: 24, 111, 159, 285, 344, 345
  • Night routes affected: N3, N27, N63, N68, N109, N207, N381
  • School routes affected: 671

Image above: a SWR train at Chiswick Station; photograph Nick Raikes

Rail strikes

Train drivers represented by Aslef and RMT are planning to strike on 1 and 3 February, which will cause disruption on services across the country.

While there are no Tube strikes planned over the next few weeks, the RMT strikes will likely affect services from Gunnersbury station as previous strike days have seen reductions in services.

Most London Underground services will continue to run, there will likely be some disruption on the Elizabeth Line, the Bakerloo line between Queen’s Park and Harrow & Wealdstone and on the District Line between Richmond and Turnham Green and Wimbledon and Parsons Green.

Transport for London have yet to post an update for these specific strike dates, but they say Elizabeth Line services could be cancelled at short notice up until 28 February due to industrial action,

South Western Rail (SWR), which services Kew Bridge, Chiswick, Brentford, Barnes and Barnes Bridge stations, say they are assessing the impact the strike action by Aslef will have on their services.

Updates will be posted to their website: southwesternrailway.com/plan-my-journey/industrial-action.

Image above: an ambulance; library image

NHS strikes

On 26 January more than 4,200 physiotherapy staff employed across 18 NHS trusts in London are planning to strike in a fresh dispute over pay not being in line with inflation.

The strike will affect all the trusts which are local to west London, they are: Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust.

In February, nurses and ambulance workers are planning further industrial action with a coordinated strike on Monday 6 February, though no ambulance services in London will be striking.

Nurses represented by the Royal College of Nursing will strike on both 6 and 7 of February, which will affect Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

Physiotherapy staff will then strike again on 9 February.

Image above: Chiswick School

School and university strikes

On 1 February, teachers and school support staff in the National Education Union (NEU) will begin their package of strike action which will close or partially close the vast majority of schools in England and Wales on seven dates in February and March.

University staff who are members of the University and College Union (UCU) across 150 universities, including 30 in London, will also be striking.

Both disputes are related to pay.

The dates of teachers’ strikes which affect London are:

  • Wednesday 1 February: National strike day, all eligible NEU members in England and Wales
  • Thursday 2 March: Regional strike day, all eligible members in the following English regions: London, South East, South West
  • Wednesday 15 March: National strike day, all eligible members in England and Wales
  • Thursday 16 March: National strike day, all eligible members in England and Wales

University staff will strike on 1 February only.

Civil service strikes

More than 100,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) will strike on 1 February too.

Industrial action will affect 124 Government departments, likely having a serious impact.

The full list of Government departments can be found below:

pcs.org.uk

Image above: Brentford and Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury

Anti-strike laws would be ‘fundamental attack’ on workers says Ruth Cadbury

Brentford and Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury has described the Government’s anti-strike legislation as a “fundamental attack” on workers rights which could lead to even more prolonged action. After voting against the Governments’ proposed legislation, Ruth said:

‘‘I strongly oppose the government’s latest attack on the rights of our key workers.

‘‘Throughout the pandemic Rishi Sunak clapped for our key workers, yet now his government is threatening nurses and other key workers with the sack. NHS staff, teachers, rail workers and many others worked flat out to keep services open and to keep our country moving throughout the pandemic. The prime minister is clearly out of touch about the sacrifice and hard work done by our key workers.

‘‘It is ridiculous for the government to talk about minimum service levels when a decade of cuts and mismanagement have left our public services falling apart at the seams. Rather than fixing the problems they’ve created the government are instead driving through an attack on key workers.

‘‘Over the last century workers have fought for the right to strike, yet this bill fundamentally attacks this right. I will continue to oppose this deeply damaging legislation and will keep standing up for the rights of our key workers.’’

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

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