In a summer of labour market battles as double-digit inflation erodes salaries, the tube and bus employees’ strike on Friday will bring London’s transportation system to a complete halt.
According to Transport for London (TFL), there will be significant disruption on all London Underground lines, reduced London Overground service, and altered schedules for dozens of bus routes in the west of the city.
On Thursday and again on Saturday, tens of thousands of employees from the larger national rail network went on strike.
Inconvenience caused by rail strikes organised by unions this year for salary and conditions for their members that better reflect the skyrocketing cost of living brought on by energy price-driven inflation has already been felt by commuters across the nation.
As increased energy costs as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine struck consumers directly through their home bills and indirectly through rising food prices, data showed inflation at 10.1% in July, the highest level since February 1982.
This has caused a deadlock between businesses, who claim that declining demand and rising prices limit their negotiating power, unions, who claim that their members cannot afford to live, and the government, which is concerned that significant pay rises could lead to inflation.
According to the trade union RMT, TFL’s failure to provide promises over jobs and pensions was the cause of the subterranean strike. After an emergency state funding agreement expired, TFL is currently engaged in protracted discussions with the government, which have been made necessary in part by a post-pandemic decline in passenger traffic.
Other British sectors’ employees are preparing for upcoming strikes or moving toward industrial action. These include staff at ports, law firms, schools, hospitals, and fire departments as well as those at airports, airports, and post offices.