In a proper London transport bombshell, the RMT union, which represents many of the staff who work on the Underground, has announced possible strike action affecting the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend (June 2-5). The action has been prompted by what Union bosses describe as a ‘toxic working environment’ at two Zone 1 stations, Green Park and Euston.
The walkouts at these stations are planned for Friday June 3, and will potentially affect Victoria, Jubilee and Piccadilly line services through them. The action seems intended to cause maximum disruption to visitors coming to London for the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, specifically those intending to travel to Buckingham Palace.
The union stated: ‘Our strike on June 3 will cause significant disruption to people wishing to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee. However, if Tube bosses do the right thing… we can find a just resolution to this dispute.’
However, it is likely that this threat of industrial action over a one-off national holiday will not totally endear the union to the public. People have already taken to Twitter with their reactions, which run the whole gamut of opinion from ‘solidarity’ to ‘complete and utter wankers’. We’re checking in case it might actually constitute some form of treason.
Plans for the four-day bank holiday in honour of the Queen’s 70 years on the throne include such varied treats as a giant dragon hatching outside Buck House and especially extended pub opening hours. While there is very little likelihood that this strike action will actually happen, it seems that Londoners can’t even get drunk and look at dragons without having to worry about how to get home.
Massive horse-drawn gilded carriages for all!
Separate 24-hour strike action has also been announced for Monday June 6, the day after the platinum jubilee holiday weekend, in protest of what it claims are Transport for London’s (TfL) plans to cut 600 jobs to reduce costs.
Andy Lord, TfL’s chief operating officer, said on Monday: ‘We are extremely disappointed that the RMT has announced unnecessary strike action on June 6 and share Londoners’ frustrations that this, and the linked action short of strike, has been designed to disrupt the Jubilee weekend.
‘It is particularly surprising that the RMT has threatened to spoil this moment when the nation is coming together as nobody has or will lose their jobs as a result of the proposals we have set out and there have been no proposals on pension changes’
At the moment, it's not confirmed exactly which lines will be affected, but it's rumoured that all zone one stations will close, and that Overground services will stay open.
Railway workers (members of the RMT union) have also voted to go on strike, which will cause major disruption across the UK this summer. There isn't a confirmed date just yet, but services could be reduced to around a fifth of the normal weekday timetable.
It might just be worth jumping on a bike, or taking a commuting hiatus to work from home that day.