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London Tramlink staff to go on strike

London tram services will be hit by strikes on 15 and 16 June after Aslef and tram operator FirstGroup failed to reach an agreement over pay.

Finn Brennan, Aslef’s organiser on the London Underground, said FirstGroup’s offered 2.6% pay increase did not match the rising costs of housing and living in London.

He accused FirstGroup of cutting staff pensions and paying senior executives at the expense of members, claiming chief executive Tim O’Toole had had his salary doubled to £2m.

Brennan said: “Tramlink staff work hard to deliver a service that is crucial to the economy of Croydon and the wider South London area it serves. But it is clear that their employer simply does not value them.”

Aslef members voted 100% in favour of striking on an 82% turnout.

The strikes will add to the waves of industrial action hitting public transport in London and the surrounding areas, with London Underground engineers also voting in favour of strikes and an ongoing dispute on the Southern rail network leading to both strikes and allegedly high rates of sickness absences.

RTM contacted FirstGroup and Transport for London for a statement but they did not respond at the time of publication.


A spokesperson for Tram Operations Limited said: "We're very disappointed ASLEF decided to proceed to strike action, instead of rejoining us around the negotiating table. We feel we’ve made an offer that is competitive and which union negotiators agreed with, and we have received no further proposals from the union on a way forward as a basis on which to meet.  A strike will bring massive disruption to customers. We ask ASLEF to rejoin us around the table to seek a solution that will bring this dispute to a satisfactory conclusion for everyone."

They added that Aslef's claims about Tim O'Toole's salary were "wrong" and in fact his basic pay has remained the same for the past four years and his total renumeration has decreased between 2012 and 2015.

(Image c. Transport for London)

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