Wimbledon fans face ‘serious disruption’ as tram drivers go on strike Business

Tennis fans heading to Wimbledon this week will be victims of the latest strike by transport workers, as London Tramlink drivers come out in a row to pay.

Strike action will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday this week after drivers rejected a 3% pay rise.

The London Tramlink runs 17 miles of track across south London, serving Bromley, Croydon, Sutton and Wimbledon.

Trams run every five minutes on weekdays between Croydon and Wimbledon, transporting tennis fans to the All-England Club.

Transport for London said ‘severe disruption is expected on both days’ and urged people to use alternative public transport.

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has been asked to intervene in the row to force the operator to pay a “fair wage deal”, union leaders have said.

The Tramlink is owned by Transport for London, the authority chaired by the Mayor, and operated by transport company FirstGroup.

Finn Brennan, from the drivers’ union Aslef, said TfL pays FirstGroup, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange with a market value of almost £1billion, a fixed fee to run the trams. Fees increase each year based on the retail price index in November, which was 7.1% last year.

With inflation at its highest level in 40 years, Mr Brennan said a 3% increase “would mean a reduction in wages in real terms for people who are already struggling to cope with rising utility bills. fuel, energy and food”.

He added: “Our members do hard and demanding work, working 24 hours a day, 364 days a year. They deserve a fair wage settlement.

Trish Ashton, director of rail and sponsored services at Transport for London, said: “We are disappointed that Aslef has decided to take industrial action on the tram network and urge them to meet with Tram Operations, the operator, to try to solve this problem. and avoid disturbing our customers.

“All customers traveling on the days that will be affected by the strikes are advised to check before embarking on their journey.”

The strike is the latest by transport workers, who are unhappy to be offered pay rises below inflation.

Last week the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) staged the biggest railway strike in a generation. The dispute is not just about compensation. Network Rail and the rail companies want to cut costs, which have been borne by taxpayers since the franchise ended last year, and change ‘archaic’ working practices.

Talks between the RMT, Network Rail and the rail companies are due to resume today in a bid to resolve the national dispute.

British Airways check-in staff said they would also go on strike in a row over pay. Although no time has been announced for the walkout, union leaders are believed to be targeting the last two weekends of July.

On Sunday, Labor shadow foreign secretary David Lammy angered union leaders by saying the party should “categorically” oppose a 10% pay rise for BA airport workers at Heathrow.

The BA Balpa pilots’ union will also hold talks with the airline this week to overturn a pay deal reached during Covid which means its members must continue to sacrifice part of their salary to fund the salaries of their colleagues maintained during the pandemic.

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This notice was published: 2022-06-27 11:31:38

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